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 25, 2008

Shift This

It's a little US-centric - but definitely interesting viewing.

By Kirsty Dunphey with 3 comments

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Goals Need An Update?

I just read another article about John Goddard, goal setter extraordinaire and I’m excited to say I’ve added one of his goals to my goal box.

New Goal: I want to travel to every country in the world.

So step number 1, figure out all the countries in the world. I’ve gone with this list: http://geography.about.com/od/countryinformation/a/capitals.htm

Step number 2, get them all into a workable list get yours here (I also kept the capitals – we might as well learn while we’re goal setting – eh?)

Step 3, mark off the ones I’ve already been to.

Step 4, sit back in shocked horror. I like to think I’m fairly well travelled, but I’ve only been to a paltry 20 countries!

Time to get to work. Happy goal setting!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, June 23, 2008

Book Review - Startup Nation by Jeff and Rich Sloan

Entreprenurial Advice from the Nice Guys Next Door

Jeff and Rich Sloan, although I've never met them or spoken with them, come across as nice down to earth guys (who just happen to have done some pretty amazing things in the business world). Startup nation is easy to read, offers compelling and unique examples of both their own success and other's to illustrate their points and has a really friendly tone to it. Reading in Australia, there were a few pages that were quite USA-centric that weren't of much relevance to me, but a few out of 275 pages of quality isn't much to worry about. Useful, practical, inspiring and all around great reading for the entrepreneur / inventor or business person inside us all.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goal Achieved

Today (16 June, 2008) is a great day, a day I achieved a goal that took me one year in the making. Well – one year less 2 weeks.

On the 1st of July 2007 I decided I was going to read a book a week – 52 in total for the (Australian) financial year.

For those of you keen to now what occupied that year, the list follows at the end of this post. Often the titles are in short hand – bear in mind this is just the list I kept to keep track – any questions, just post me a comment.

My faves are also reviewed here: www.kirstydunphey.com/readmore.html

Is it time you set yourself a reading goal? For me – I probably read about 20 books in the year before this, and I knew one a week was achievable but would push me. If you’re reading 5 books a year, maybe one a month might be a great goal?

Happy reading,


July - 8
How to be wildly wealthy fast
Year of yes
The four hour work week
Peter sheahan - gen y
Would you like attitude with that
Open for inspection
Twelve pillars

August - 7
Greatest networker in the world
Harry Potter and the PS
Secrets of Great Coaches Exposed
Dark Angel III
Make a name for yourself
Secrets of Top Sales Professionals
Keys to success

September - 5
Who moved my cheese?
Every second counts
Beyond the lemonade stand
How I retired at 26
Inside delta force

October - 6
I want what she's having
You inc
Womens ventures
The dip

November - 2
One red paperclip
Behind the arches

December - 5
How to win friends and influence people
The outsider's edge
Think big and kick ass
How full is your bucket?

January - 3
Small is the new big
How to create an income for life

February - 5
Living History
The passion test
Buzz marketing
Secrets of business builders
One minute goddess

March - 5
Secrets of Internet Entrepreneurs Exposed
No Mountain High Enough
A Lotus grows in the mud
Brand New Day
Secrets of Great Rainmakers

April - 1
Unleashing the idea virus

May - 2
Masters of Success
Your life only a gazillion times better

June - 3
The bear necessities of business
Startup nation
Rules for Renegades

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 8 comments

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wow - The Last Lecture

As a speaker this really appealed to me - what would you say if the speech you were about to give were to be the last before you died?

Have a listen, I hope you love it as much as I did.

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

26 Ways To Build Subscribers To Your Newsletter Or Blog

The weekly newsletter we put out from www.kirstydunphey.com is currently circulating to over 4,000 people weekly. We’re often asked how we’ve built our database to that size in 3 years given that this newsletter started as just an in house newsletter to around 20 staff! To follow are some of our best success tips on building your newsletter (or blog) database.

1. Have a sign up button or form on every page of your website.

2. Don’t make it too difficult for people to sign-up, people get bored if they have to jump through too many hoops. All we ask for is first name, surname (optional) and email.

3. Set up a facebook fan page for your email (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kirsty-Dunphey-Weekly-Email/23652386192?ref=nf) and encourage your friends / family and current subscribers to join.

4. To attract those ever present Gen Y’s have a presence on myspace. Some of my favourites:
http://www.myspace.com/kirstydunphey (and mine of course!)

5. Link your facebook, myspace and linked in pages on your website and newsletter.

6. Any time you speak at a public event, mention your newsletter and encourage people to sign up. By public event I mean everything from a keynote presentation in front of 2,000 to a networking group of 5 – just mention it!

7. If you do any regular public speaking, grab a box, bucket or any receptacle and allow people to simply throw a business card in at the end of any of your talks if they want to subscribe.

8. Promote your newsletter on the bottom of your email (in your signature)

9. Make it easy for people to recommend their friends signup and mention that you’d like them to in your newsletter (in ours we say we’re aiming for 10,000 subscribers – can they help?)

10. I regularly submit articles to be used in other newsletters. Our two most exciting contributions to date have been multiple entries in Zig Ziglar (www.zigziglar.com) and Jeffrey Gitomer’s (www.jeffreygitomer.com) newsletters.

11. Allow people to reproduce your articles in their newsletters – and make it easy. We do this by having a statement telling people they can reproduce our articles in every newsletter and a whole page of articles they can use here: www.kirstydunphey.com/usemebaby.html

12. We submit our articles (which reference our newsletter) to online articles. Try www.ezinearticles.com and www.articlesbase.com, www.goarticles.com

13. Solicit testimonials from the people who currently read your newsletter (even if it’s just 5!) and use them on your website.

14. Allow people to see archived copies of your newsletters – to give them a better idea of what they’re signing up for.

15. Don’t sell or loan your database and make it clear on your website that you won’t

16. Mention your newsletter as often as possible (media, tv interviews, social events, networking).

17. Consider mentioning your newsletter on your business card / letterhead.

18. Link to your newsletter in your blog.

19. Oh yeah – have a blog (see: www.kirstydunphey.com/blog ) and if you don’t think you have time to blog read: http://kirstydunphey.blogspot.com/2008/02/are-you-already-blogging-and-you-just.html

20. There are lots of online ezine diretories that you can register your database at (we’ve not had a great response from these – but hey – if you’ve got a spare 10 minutes go for your life!)

21. Ask your friends / colleagues if they’ll mention your newsletter on their website (see: www.kirstydunphey.com/recommendations.html) More links to your website also can do great things for your search engine optimization.

22. You can pitch your product in your newsletter – but it can’t all be a sales pitch. Find a happy medium that works for you in terms of selling vs educating.

23. If you write a book (www.unleashedknowledge.com), mention your newsletter in it.

24. Make your database feel loved – have special offers that are only for those people who subscribe.

25. Use a reputable email marketing service to ensure a good delivery rate, we use icontact but there are several other options available.

26. Finally, the number one (and most simple) way to get more people subscribing is to put something out there that’s of value to readers. If people like a newsletter they’ll forward it on and it’ll grow without you having to concern yourself too much!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why Bother Having A Website?

I just went to a very cute, very flash-y, very pretty website - http://www.ilovebilly.com.au/

Now as cute, flashy and pretty as it is - it’s about 3% away from being completely and utterly useless.

Now as I said, the company has a cute website. Please don’t get me wrong I like cute and visually appealing websites. The company sell shoes. I really like shoes. Me visiting this website should be a match made in heaven.

But it’s not.

I can see pictures of the I Love Billy shoes but…
• I can’t easily scroll through the shoes or see them all at once (I have to click on a flying shoe each time I want to see one more)
• I can’t find out how much they are
• I can’t buy them
• I can’t find out where to buy them (where are they stocked, is there a store in my state??)

What I can do is email them or register my details. But I’m not going to do this. I came to their website looking for information. In fact I came to their website looking for information on how to give them my money! They haven’t provided what I need, no money for them today from me.

Their website says “wearing I Love Billy will make you feel and look glamorous” – maybe it will – but the site doesn’t get me any darn closer to wearing I Love Billy!

When designing their site I wonder if they sat down and thought about who would be coming to it.

Who could be coming to your website?

If a potential customer / wholesaler / client comes to your site can they:
• Find out information about your product / service
• Can they find out how to buy (ie: on your site, or where offline)
• Is it worth you having a frequently asked questions section?

If the media were to come to your site wanting to do an interview with you could they:
• Get the low down on your business?
• Easily find out how to get in contact with you?

If your competitor were coming to your site would they:
• Be blown away by it?

10 minute task to see if your website is effective:

1. Write down a list of everyone who might come to your website:
Clients, customer, wholesalers, suppliers, people with a complaint, media, competitors, bloggers, journos, people inspired by your story…

2. Next to each one of those types answer the question “What do they want from my website when they visit?”

3. Figure out what you need to do to fill the gaps.

Bear in mind, people may come to your website wanting to buy your product however at this stage online retailing may not be viable or even possible for you. That’s ok. You don’t have to fulfil every desire of every client. Just give them an alternative. Share the information. Tell them where they can buy from, make it easy.

And just so that we end on a positive note, here’s a few websites I think I Love Billy could take a leaf out the online pages of…

http://peteralexander.com.au/ - it’s fun, it’s easy to buy (a little too easy), you can find offline locations easily and there’s always some news of interest (like the recent store opening in the States). What would you expect from a line started up by a guy with no store front – Peter and more recently the Just Group have got it covered.

http://funkyhomes.com.au/ - an up and coming store in my home state of Tassie. They don’t have online retailing, but it’s exceptionally easy to find out how to get to them and they have lots of nice little points of interest. A great example of a useful website on a small budget.

http://gojane.com/ - I found this addictive place because they’re savvy enough to put online coupon codes at: http://www.retailmenot.com/ (which is FREE) - clever clever. You only have to see the www.alexa.com rating for Retail Me Not to know that everyone loves a bargain.

http://www.elementalthreads.com/ - just found this today, and it completely rocks.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Book Review - The Bear Necessities Of Business by Maxine Clark

Putting The Magic Back Into Business

Let me start this out by saying that I’m biased. I love the Build a Bear concept and have done ever since I saw my first store about 3 years ago. The cool thing about this book though is that you don’t need to have a business similar to Build a Bear, you don’t need to love Build a Bear in fact you don’t need to know anything about Build a Bear to gain some really important business lessons from this highly enjoyable book. From getting your staff to find ways to say yes to the red pencil award Maxine highlights business gems from the minute to the stellar. Un-bearably good reading.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is Your Culture Infectious?

At a conference in gorgeous Hamilton Island this morning I asked a packed room of around 400 people a question of opinion. I told them that the morning before I’d take two flights - one with Jetstar and one with Virgin Blue (both Australian domestic airlines). My question to them was which flight did they think I’d had more fun on? Their answer overwhelmingly that they thought I’d had more fun on the Virgin flight.

And they were of course right. When I hopped on the Virgin Blue flight I was called by my first name – off to a good start. And then because someone in that company a long time ago gave them permission to have fun and show their personality I got a little comedy routine as well as my flight.

Was the Jetstar flight in any way bad or did I get poor service? No (not this time). The flight was fine, but unmemorable in every way.

When Virgin Blue tell a plane load of people that we can’t bring fish products, fish fingers or mullet haircuts back home their culture infects people on that plane and leads to this overwhelming feeling that Virgin Blue are the “fun” airline such that a room full of 400 strangers know it instantly.

I’d love to think that in the companies I work with I’m constantly working towards a cultural state whereby a room with 400 strangers would be able to overwhelmingly pick my company as the one they’d had fun with too.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Hotel Guest From Hell

I’m staying in a newly refurbished hotel room as I write this on gorgeous Hamilton Island. I honeymooned here and the room I’m in is really a vast improvement d├ęcor wise on my last visit. The only problem is, I’m the first person to stay in the room since it’s been opened and I’ve had to call maintenance for the following reasons:
• I couldn’t get my key to open the lock
• The power key to activate the hotel room power just stopped working
• There were 2 conditioners and no shampoo in the room
• When I plugged in the hairdryer it blew the fuses in the entire room not once but twice

I’ve got one more night here and you might think I’m sitting here pretty upset with the hotel – but I’m not. You see the way they’ve handled each one of these problems has actually endeared me to the hotel a little more.

When the maintenance chap came around to fix the lock he also noticed that the door was shutting a little quickly and loudly banging - so he asked if he could fix that at the same time.

When the power key didn’t work I was shown exactly how to get it fixed and the response to that (and all my calls in fact) was immediate.

When housekeeping came over with shampoo they made a point of bringing two (“just in case” they said).

And finally when my fuses were reset housekeeping also brought with them a spare hairdryer, just in case that was the problem, and they showed me how to flip the fuse back on if it happened again (it did 10 minutes later).

Now obviously I would have preferred not to have to have called up about these issues at all, but things go wrong, that’s life. Each time I called up I was assisted in a caring and helpful way. As a guest in a hotel I don’t need perfection, but I do need to be treated with respect. I think you’ll find most customers are the same and the way you can attend to a complaint or problem can either endear you or alienate you.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, June 9, 2008

Failure - Good enough for JK Rowling

I hope you enjoy JK Rowling's recent Harvard commencement speech as much as I did - Kirsty.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, June 6, 2008

Got a spare minute? Here’s 10 great ways to spend it…

1. Check / delete your junk email

2. Call / email / facebook your Mum (yes facebook – my Mum’s pretty hip)

3. Save a life (donating blood is the easiest way I can think to do this – but if you can tick #3 in another way, go for it)

4. Change the password on your internet banking

5. Listen to your “Eye of the Tiger” (EotT is my happy song)

6. Smile at a stranger

7. Call a client and ask them how you can look after them better

8. Spend 15 minutes reading a great book (15 minutes a day is a great start)

9. Drop a few coins in the street (it’ll put a smile on someone else’s face)

10. Glue a coin onto the street (it’ll put a smile on your face if you watch for long enough :) )

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Want Inspiration?

My motto has always been that if you want inspiration, “pick up a book”. After today’s experiences I may have to change it to “talk to the parent of an entrepreneur”.

I met the very proud parents of two young entrepreneurs who gave me new inspiration today. One couple told me about their nine year old (no, that’s not a typo) who started her own card making business.

And then another proud Dad told me of his ingenious 12 year old who took her cute pets down to their local council market and started charging the other kids $1 to pet and play with them! How bloody creative is that! To top it off, they expanded their business and started doing parties on request!

Suffice it to say I left those conversations thinking I’d started OLD at 15 and sufficiently inspired to keep on innovating.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Book Review - Your Life Only A Gazillion Times Better by Breslin & Murphy

Get Out Your Pencil

I treasure my books and I hate hate hate writing inside them (despite what the authors ask me to do), but I must admit I cracked out the pencil for this one after reading a few chapters and realising that the questions and exercises at the end of the chapters were actually really valuable. I was impressed with the examples the authors offered and there was some really practical stuff in here! Ideal reading for someone who’s not loving their job, maybe has a little bit of a negative attitude or simply wants to have a brighter outlook on life.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, June 2, 2008

What do you NEED to have happen for it to be a great day?

This was one question was posed to me in a coaching session (by the fabulous Rik Rushton www.insightpd.com.au ) last week.

At first I thought it was a pretty easy question to answer, but the more I wrote lists of what I thought I “needed”, I realised that so many of them were just things I “wanted” and weren't essential to me having a great day.

So I’m posing the question to you: Can you help me out with my list by telling me what you NEED to have happen in a day, for it to be a great day?

Post your answers as comments below.

Thanks in advance,


By Kirsty Dunphey with 27 comments

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