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)...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why do I have 42 goals?

After the tragically early passing of a friend last year at the very young age of 42, I wrote the number 42 on my hand and kept rewriting it there for days afterwards. I was stunned that someone so vital could have their life cut short at such a young age.

Right now, I have the number 42 on the side of my laptop, always in sight. It’s not there to be macabre, it’s not even just there to remind me of this fabulous man I knew.

42 reminds me that:

1. I probably won’t have much of a say in when my last day on earth will come (difficult for a control freak).

2. That day could come when I’m in my 80’s (http://www.smartcompany.com.au/Free-Articles/Trends/20080707-Women-live-longer-by-the-beach-men-in-the-cold.html?source=cmailer) or it may come sooner or later, either way, see point 1.

3. When that day comes, I do not want to look back and say “I wish I’d done…” or “if only…” or “why didn’t I make time to…”.

So often people ask me about how to set goals for themselves. When it comes to life’s larger goals, I use 42 and ask myself the question: “If I could transport myself forward in time to my last day on earth, what are the things I would have liked to accomplish during that time?”

When you ask yourself that question, often you’ll find a list of life goals will simply flow.

To check out one man’s adventurous search for goal achievement in his life head to: http://johngoddard.info/

To listen to a truly inspiring speech entitled “the last lecture” by Dr. Randy Pausch often spoken of as “the dying man who is teaching people to live” head here http://kirstydunphey.blogspot.com/2008/06/wow-last-lecture.html

To see what short term goal I just achieved, check out http://kirstydunphey.blogspot.com/2008/06/goal-achieved.html

If your goals includes travel, you might enjoy: http://kirstydunphey.blogspot.com/2008/06/goals-need-update.html

To see how I keep track of my goals: http://kirstydunphey.blogspot.com/2008/02/secret-weapons-to-success-could-be.html

http://www.allaboutolive.com.au/ and check out the final blog of “the world’s” oldest blogger, who lived and blogged into her 106th year before her passing on the 12th of July 2008.

Postscript: I wrote this blog last week, and then this week I was sadly informed of a distant friend, a father of two young boys, who passed of cancer at age 33. I’ve held the blog back, not even sure that I wanted to print it given the recent news. But then a conversation with this man’s close friend showed me that I needed to print this. In his last months, knowing that his last day might be very soon, this father of two took his family away and they enjoyed the trip of life time. They really lived, loved and enjoyed his last few months. My wish for each of you reading this is that you can look back and say that you truly lived as many of the months in your life as possible. Don’t wait until an illness makes you realise your mortality, 42 and now 33 remind me of that each day.

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Weighty Burden Of Anticipating Customer Needs

I travel a lot. I also like to shop. I do not however care to repeat my first international travel experience where I had to pay $250 pounds (more than a fortune for me at the time) to get all of my luggage home after my first trip abroad.

One of my favourite bloggers Seth Godin talks about staying at a $300 a night hotel with the groovy addition of an etch-a-sketch to the room (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/all_marketers_are_liars/2005/06/the-9-story.html). Now as much fun as that sounds, and as much as I applaud this hotel for having some fun, I’d trade the etch-a-sketch, the mini bar, the teeny tiny shampoo, the four extra pillows, the groovy lights all controlled by the one bedside panel for one set of hotel luggage scales.

I am yet to stay in a hotel that offers a luggage scale. Instead on a recent hotel stay I was confronted with a sign telling me not to weigh my luggage on the gym scales.

Now I’m thinking, If these hotels know I’m considering lugging my oversized luggage down 5 levels in an elevator, across a courtyard, along the pool and up 4 steps to use the gym scales – why couldn’t they simply have a conveniently located luggage scale near the lobby?

Talk about knowing a customer’s needs and then blatantly ignoring them!

Whatever your business may be, listen for signs that your customers are crying out for something. My advice: don’t try and change them, look inside and find the way to say yes to your customers, instead of no, don’t or can’t.

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, July 21, 2008

Swallow Your Pride, Keep Your Staff

The year was 1987 and I was a plucky young grade 3 girl in a country school with fewer than 30 students. As such, I was in a grade 3-4-5-6 class. The object of my affection was a floppy haired blonde grade 6 boy.

Each day I would make eyes at him over the crayon box and then eventually, slowly but surely, we became friends. That is until “the briefcase incident” when our burgeoning relationship came to a startling halt.

Sixth grade boy was up in front of the class telling everyone about this new briefcase his father had bought him. “Me father bought me this great briefcase for my birthday…” he started.

Without even thinking I corrected him “my father you mean”. What degenerated over the next few minutes was grade 6 boy insisting that it was his father and not mine who had purchased the briefcase and me wanting to be sucked into the earth whole for the sheer embarrassment of it all.

I’ve often thought back to that “the briefcase incident” in my dealings managing staff. It’s helped me bite my tongue or take a conversation into a private area when I’ve had a criticism or suggestion for a staff member, and while I didn’t end up with the blonde 6th grader, hopefully the incident has helped me a little bit with staff retention in the days since then.

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Real Estate Survey

Hi guys,

I'm conducting a survey on real estate agents - just 14 multiple choice questions which should only take a few minutes to answer


I would love it if you could fill this in and also forward to as many people as you can so that we can reach our goal of 1,000 respondents.

All answers are confidential and we don't collect your information.

Thank you!

Kirsty :)

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

5 Simple Tips To Have More Media Love

To release or not to release that is the question (press release that is) – and if that is the question, my answer is always to release! To follow are 5 simple tips to get more loved up with the media:

1. Set yourself a press / media release goal. I think once a month is a good frequency, but if you’re not doing any now – what about once a quarter. Don’t have enough to write about each month? (new staff member, award, record sale, new premises, community involvement) – why not use this as a trigger to remind you to make something happen!

2. Start to form relationships with the journalists that cover your business. Send them a card or small thank you gift after any media coverage. Keep their contact details on file and send releases targeted to “their” type of story direct to them.

3. Be snappy. If your local newspaper or TV station calls you wanting a quote or an interview, get onto it quickly. Chances are they can’t (and won’t) wait for you to finish your lunch.

4. Invite your local media to all your events (Christmas party for photos and a slice of cake, grand opening for bubbly and an interview).

5. Check out http://www.pressreleasegrader.com/ once you’ve written your press release to have it “graded” online.

Thanks to Joan Stewart’s http://www.PublicityHound.com/ newsletter (which is fabulous) for the following tip off about a great little online tool:
Joan tells us that the grader deducts points for:
--No links high in the release.
--Not using "###" at the end of the release, the universal code for "the end."
--Incorrect use of anchor text. That is, the words on the page that link to a website.
--Gobbledygook words like "flexible," "scalable" and "robust."
We just trialled it on our latest press release and it was so simple and easy to use! Australian users take note that it may not think your phone number is valid as it’s a US based tool.

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How Much Do You Contribute To The Success Of Your Company?

What do movies Cocktail, Back to the Future (parts 2 and 3) and the Karate Kid all have in common?

Well apart from being 4 of my favourite movies of all time (c’mon they’re classics!) they all have Elisabeth Shue in the quintessential “girlfriend” role.

Now we all know Tom Cruise and Michael J. Fox and I’m sure if Ralph Macchio got into the crane position or said “wax on wax off” you’d remember him quicker than Mr. Miyagi’s chopsticks, but Elisabeth “Who” you might say and I might agree with you (my strange love of movie trivia aside).

How does an actress co-star in 1984’s 5th top grossing movie (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1984&p=.htm), 88’s 9th top grossing (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1988&p=.htm) and 89 and 90’s 6th and 11th (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1990&p=.htm) top grossing movies respectively (over $370 million gross) and be so unrecognisable!

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that these movies would have been huge hits with or without Elisabeth Shue.

Now why am I rambling on about forgotten 80’s movie stars? Well – Elisabeth Shue reminds me of how some people function within organisations. They can be part of a successful company, or team, but are they integral in creating that success, that impact?

Questions to ask yourself today:

• Would this company / business / organisation / not for profit have the same impact (whether that be on profit, customers, the world) if I weren’t here?
• Are you a Michael J. Fox or an Elisabeth Shue right now?
• Without jumping on Oprah’s couch – what can you do to become more memorable (for all the right reasons) in your organisation?

And just so you don’t think I’m all about having a go at Elisabeth Shue I highly recommend you check out 1995’s Leaving Las Vegas (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113627/) (if you brace yourself for a very strong, in your face movie). It earned Ms. Shue an academy award nomination and I don’t think that movie would have been the same without her (but Mighty Morphin Power Rangers did bring in more $$’s than it that year!)

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Anthill Australia Magazine's Cool Company Awards 2008

Nominations now open - http://www.anthillonline.com/article_detail.php?id=560

The inaugural Cool Company Awards were launched in February 2006 as a way for Anthill Magazine to celebrate Australian organisations that are doing things differently or defying convention to bring about positive change.

So, what does this mean?

Cool Companies manage to stay one step ahead of the rest. They breed leaders who are rule-makers and rule-breakers. They are organisations that aspire to be admired. They are trend-setters in attitude and action. Quite simply, they are cool.

So get cracking and nominate an Australian company you know fits the bill! They're especially looking for web based companies right now.

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Farwell And Take A Risk!

With my husband’s line of work (fire fighter / police office / spunky uniform wearer) I send him off to work each and every day with “I love you and… be careful”. In his lines of work, the “be careful” seems really fitting to me.

But what should he say to me as I head in to work? Perhaps he should send me to work with “take a risk” instead of “be careful”?

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Threadless presentation - the awesome way to make money on the internet

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, July 7, 2008

I Found A Mini-Sales Superstar In Vietnam

While holidaying in South East Asia earlier this year I was besieged by young boys selling postcards. “10 postcards for a dollar” to be exact and I heard the phrase more times than I care to remember.

After buying my postcards in Cambodia, Thailand and again in Vietnam I really had no further need for postcards. But that of course didn’t stop the onslaught of sales inquiries. The persistence of these young boys (some I’m sure as young as 4) was to be applauded, but I wasn’t keen to come home with additional luggage completely comprised only of postcards. It got to a stage where my automatic response was “no” when we saw anyone approaching with postcards.

Until that is one sunny afternoon in the seaside locale of Nha Trang Vietnam where I sat sipping cocktails with friends. A young boy, maybe 11 approached postcards in hand. I gave the standard response and was about to turn back to my cocktail when he pulled out a Connect Four board. His “sales pitch” to me was that we’d play Connect Four – if he won, I’d buy the cards, if I won, the cards were mine free.

My husband ordered another beer at this stage, knowing that all hope was lost as soon as this boy pulled out the game. You see, not only do I love games, but I’m also a sucker for an innovative sales pitch.

So we played, I got beaten (badly). We played again and I got beaten again. I cut my losses then and paid slightly higher than the normal postcard price for my 20 gleaming new postcards.

This eleven year old boy knew more about selling than many I encounter who’ve had a formal education.

1. He was different! Imitating everyone else would have gotten him nowhere in this case.
2. He made me an offer I found hard to refuse. The lure of a battle of the brains for the cards was a bit of excitement for my afternoon.
3. He had a win / win situation. He was a connect four rock star, but c’mon what tourist is really not going to pay anything if they were to win?
4. He never stopped selling. He asked me to play again after the first game.
5. He left me with a smile on my face. True value for money if you ask me.

I think any of us in sales (and isn’t that all of us really?) could learn something from this mini-sales dynamo.

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, July 4, 2008

UK apprentice - so not Trump!

I'm loving watching all four seasons of the UK version of the Apprentice online right now.

Check out the playlists here: On YouTube.

Or start watching season4, episode 1, part 1 below:

Sir Alan Sugar is really different from The Donald in the US version, but a copy wouldn't be half as satisfying. Brace yourself, the Brits swear a LOT more and there's more of a focus on Sir Alan finding an "apprentice", whereas in the States, the show's winners are almost always very successful entrepreneurs in their own rights.

Also check out this recent news article on what Sir Alan's up to now http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4f838524-4898-11dd-a851-000077b07658.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Desirable, Enviable, Aspire-able? Not You… Your Company!

Three different ways to get a long / longer queue of applicants and potential job seekers wanting to work for your company in a candidate short world.

1. Make it fun
I only had to see this picture of the slide that employees can use to get between floors at Red Bull London – and I was instantly daydreaming working in the energy drink world.

See also:

http://positivesharing.com/2007/03/12-ways-to-pimp-your-office/ - 12 ways to pimp your office

http://positivesharing.com/2006/10/10-seeeeeriously-cool-workplaces/ - and 10 Seeeeriously cool workplaces (where I found my future workplace)

2. Make it personable
Ebay CEO of 10 years Meg Whitman sat side by side with her employees in the same size cubicle as everyone else (hers is lined with toys, see above).

Walt Disney set the example of picking up rubbish whenever he saw it on the grounds at Disneyland. He wasn’t too big to do it, neither are Disney staff.

Also see a rather interesting article by guru Guy Kawasaki entitled is your boss an a**hole (just a warning - he’s a big boy though so he doesn’t use the **s) http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/02/is_your_boss_an.html

3. Make a difference
For every pair of shoes sold by www.tomsshoes.com they’ll give a pair to a child in need (one for one as they’re so fond of saying). They’ve already given out over 60,000 pairs in Argentina and South Africa.

This comment from on their myspace page (www.myspace.com/blakemycoskie) : “So, I just got an internship with your company. I’ve never been so happy to be a part of something in my entire life. You’re such an inspiration & I hope you realize how much of an effect you have on people.”

Oh yeah – this person is so over the moon and this is an unpaid internship. Most people aren’t this happy to go to jobs where they’re paid bucket-loads.
Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Book Review - Rules For Renegades by Christine Comaford-Lynch

Finally - an author who uses "rock" as a verb as much as me!

That said, this is definitely one of the strangest business books I've read in a long time - and this is the genre I read about 95% of the time. About half way through the book I was saying to my friends "can you believe she's writing about sleeping with Bill Gates in this book?" - but you know what, I was talking about it, I was creating buzz for the book and I certainly couldn't put it down. I don't know if you'd describe the author Christine as likeable, nor would I say she's trying to be: she's flawed, but she knows it (and aren't we all), she's a character (wait a minute, she's a monk, a geisha, a burnout, a tech-head, an investor, an entrepreneur - make that she's multiple characters), but by the end of the book I really connected with the message that she was trying to put out. Interesting and slightly shocking reading, definitely not predictable.

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

What’s In A Name?

“Hello Crusty” read the first line of the email sent to me from a senior exec last week. Now – I’m used to (and can fairly readily excuse) the odd “Kristy” I get via email (my name is Kirsty, not Kristy, Kristen, Kirsten, Kirsti or the litany of others I get called). But “Crusty”!! That was a first and a typo that cracked me up.

But while I was chuckling away at my new name (I’m printing up new business cards as we speak) it reminded me that you can read as many business blogs about the most complicated and exciting business concepts in the world, but if you can’t get the basics right (like: spelling someone’s name correctly, adhering to a client’s preferred method of contact, displaying your opening hours on the front of your retail store, responding to emails within a specified period of time) what’s the point?

Sign up to Kirsty's weekly email online at: www.kirstydunphey.com/weekly.html

By Kirsty Dunphey with 3 comments

    • Popular
    • Categories
    • Archives