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, September 30, 2008

Waiting on 1000 this month

Hey guys, just a quick post to remind those of you who know real estate agents that now is the time to refer them to www.reallysold.com. All they have to do is trial it (no cost) this month, and say you referred them and if you're the 1000th referrer this month, whammo - you'll get a lovely lil pressie from us.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Wave

When I was a young, confused recent uni drop out I set myself a goal with a list of “things” that I wanted to achieve with my spectacular (and yet completely unknown) future career. The list read as follows:
• I want it to be fun and exciting
• I want to be able to be really successful at it and make a great income
• I want to be able to have an impact on the lives of the people I deal with

It wasn’t until I started selling real estate at 19 that I realised I could tick all those boxes with that career, so I started getting my teeth stuck into it.

In thinking about what I do with my life going forward (I’ve now sold my real estate businesses) my mind is drawn back to that list, especially point 3.

I’ve been quite lucky with my real estate businesses to feel and create that “impact on people” in a big way. Many real estate agents do. We’ve all had clients cry, scream, jump up and down because they’re so delighted / moved / emotional, and it’s a lasting effect in many cases. Just this weekend a former client came up to me and chatted about his experiences when I sold him his house (back in 1999!)

But in a recent experience that I want to share with you.. I realised that what I’ve done so far is not going to be near enough for me and it’s made me reassess some of my goals for the future.

The event came about when I was recently fortunate enough to have John Anderson, founder of iconic travel brand Contiki, speak at Success with Attitude, a conference I co-organise here in Tasmania. John was exceptionally well received by the audience and actually brought more than a few people to tears during his speech.

One of the most touching parts for me was when John mentioned that these days, even after he has sold the company, each time he sees a Contiki coach touring young people around, he looks up, smiles and waves. He said something to the effect that the people on the coach have no idea who he is, but he knows what he’s done for them and thousands of others.

Having been on a Contiki tour (my first trip outside of the country) I know exactly what John’s talking about. I had an amazing time, truly life changing and completely memorable.

It got me thinking about the different types of impact businesses can have on their clients. It made me realise…

It’s not about frequency of use
I’ve travelled Contiki only once, but I have more brand passion for it than say, Microsoft (even as I type this blog into a Microsoft product, sporadically checking my email in another and doing my finance homework in a third) whose products I use every day.

It’s about how much you can stay in their hearts
Knowing the brand power is such that the average family saves for seven years to get to a Disney resort, I’m sure Walt would give a posthumous and knowing wave to each person entering the gates.

I would imagine my fellow smartcompany blogger Naomi Simson’s Red Balloon Days has that same potential to create a lasting impact when someone is gifted one of their amazing experiences.

Should we chuck the rest?
Am I saying that businesses that don’t tug at the heart strings are bad or evil? Certainly not! I’d be lost without my ability to “Google”… I’m just not going to send Larry and Sergey a valentines card (yet).

I even have a business of my own – www.reallysold.com – which is a vital help to real estate agents, but is unlikely to get me words of praise equivalent to even one experience helping someone sell their largest asset or trekking across the countryside.

It’s not about size (really!)
I know people who worship at the altar of Steve Jobs for their spanky new macs, iphones and ipods, but I’d be just as inclined to hug the staff at the tiny restaurant, Magic Curries I went to last week in Hobart for the exceptional dining experience I had there.

It doesn’t matter what your business is… if it’s still around after you’re gone, will you have justification in knowing you’ve had a hand in changing people’s lives for the better?

My new aim after seeing my new role model John Anderson speak is to try to emulate some of the effect he’s had on the world, in my own way. Stay tuned. Thanks John!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, September 22, 2008

Only 100 days to go!

I just left a fabulous master mind session with Celine Egan from www.tyc.com.au where I was reminded that as of today there are only 100 days left in the year!

100 days left before the year in which I turn 30 and still so much to do.

What will you do with the last 100 days of the year?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Real Estate Agents: “Trustworthy” is the new black

A survey of 500 people conducted by real estate copywriting site www.reallysold.com shows mixed results.

36% of people thought real estate agents were “generally trustworthy” with 38% unsure and 25% disagreeing with this statement.

Respondents stated that they would be most likely choose an agent to sell their home who they felt was the most trustworthy followed by one referred by friends and family and then the one they thought cared the most. Overwhelmingly people said they would not be swayed by the sale price an agent quoted or the commission they charged.

Promising results show that of those surveyed who had dealt with real estate agents, fewer than 8% had never had a good experience. There’s still work to come however with over 40% not ever having had an “exceptional” experience with a real estate agent. Just under 75% of respondents had previously had a bad experience with a real estate agent.

In excess of 88% remembered the name of the last real estate agency they dealt with, but around 10% fewer remembered the name of the person.

In excess of 35% thought that real estate agents had some improving to do in terms of the quality of the text and photography in their advertisements and the quality of an agent’s marketing and advertising is important or very important to 90% of people.

If an agent had a spelling mistake in their advertisement 12% would definitely not hire them while a further 55% would be less inclined to hire them as their agent.

Over 55% of people would call in 3 different agents to give their opinions if they were thinking of selling their property, less than 2% wouldn’t chose to use a real estate agent.

This survey was conducted online with 500 respondents 75% of which are based in Australia. Full survey report available online at: www.reallysold.com/2008survey.pdf

Survey conducted by www.reallysold.com is the world’s leading online real estate copy creation site. It assists real estate sales and property management agents in writing their property advertisement headings and copy. The entire process is done online in seconds and real estate agents have the ability to sign up for a complimentary 10 day trial of the product.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 8 comments

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Work it Baby… 5 tips to work your networking

I was at a networking event last week for Anthill magazine’s top 30 entrepreneur’s under 30 and it reminded me of some of my favourite networking rules.

1. Practice makes polished
Be well prepared for the question “what do you do?” If you’re a bit of an introvert (like me) be a nerd and practice in front of the mirror or with a friend answering this question until you can get it out in 30 seconds or less.

Awesome on the night at this: Sarah Sammon, founder of www.SimplyRosePetals.com supplying the most fabulous and colourful rose petal wedding accessories I’ve ever seen.

2. Work it
Before you answer “what do you do” have a bit of a think about what you might like someone to say once you’ve said your answer. Do you want them to say “cool” or do you want them to ask questions about it or do you want them to say “I want to use your service”?

Rocked it on the night: Seb Maslin, founder of 199QUERY (you can mobile text message ANY question you like to this number and they’ll answer it for only $2.50). After Seb told me what he did I instantly wanted to check it out for myself.

3. Card up
Have your business cards at the ready and consider:
• Not having your mobile number on your cards (so you can give it out to people specially and make them feel like a champ)
• Writing a small note on someone’s business card if they tell you a detail that could be important later on like kids names, birthdays, favourite drinks.
• Writing a small note on your own card when you give it to someone so that when they go home with their stack of cads they’ve got an even higher chance of remembering you from the bunch.

Failed miserably on the night:
Me! I left my cards in Tassie (don’t tell any real estate agents or they’ll kick me out of the club!) but I made sure I followed up all the business cards I received on the night with a quick email or handwritten card within a few days.

4. Homework first
Before I work… er walk into any networking situation I like to know, to the best of my ability, who’s going to be in that room. For this event my homework was sending a hand written card prior to the event to the people I knew were going to be there (not always possible) and reading up on their bios. “Mini-stalking” like this gives you something to chat about instantly and avoids those oh so soul shattering silent “I don’t know anyone” moments when you walk into a room, it also kinda makes people feel a little special which is always nice. If you can’t do your homework prior to the night, keep your ears peeled while you’re there for interesting tidbits.

My new BFF: Tobi Skovron of www.petloo.com.au heard I liked shoes, remembered it, and used it as a talking point later in the night (his collection, as it were may even rival my own).

5. Be Different
Whatever you can do to stand out on the night or afterwards (in a professional way: not by Coyote Ugly style dancing on the bar) makes it more likely that your name will be remembered instead of you being “whatshername” I met at “that thing that time”.

Definitely different: David Stallard of www.platinumcare.com.au was constantly amusing on the night, laugh out loud funny, but also followed up the next week via email with some interesting suggestions for me on domain names I might like to register (following on from a joke on the evening).

And one final tip for those of you perhaps looking to organise a networking event of your own. Try to give people something to talk about afterwards.

My hero on the night: James Tuckerman, founder of Anthill magazine www.anthillonline.com who set up the night, chose the theme of a children’s birthday party for the evening, based on the fact that young entrepreneurs may give up part of their childhood to achieve at a young age. James certainly gave me some of my childhood back... think party hats, cheezles, fairy bread, beer (ok, not so childlike) and pass the parcel with costumes to boot. The event was fabulous, fun and completely memorable!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Success Junkie Interview - Tobi Skovron - Co-Director of Pup-Pee Solutions Pty Ltd

Tobi is a self confessed Go-Getter and Entrepreneur who thrives on turning concepts into business. For nearly 10 years Tobi's professional background was based around Health in both Personal and Corporate environments. It was Tobi's partner Simone's passion and appreciation for pets that propelled Tobi into changing career paths and create the business Pup-Pee Solutions Pty Ltd. As a team they created The Pet Loo and will continue to release further products in the range - www.thepetloo.com

In bringing such a new and innovative product to the market I can imagine marketing was one of your biggest challenges. What were the most successful ways you got people to know and talk about the Pet Loo?

Maybe this will help, this is being featured on the Vic Gov Website:

I can see from your website that you're taking your Australian success story international - what have been your most exciting successes to date?

What I get the biggest kick out of is the stories that come into our office by email / fax / phone & pictures saying how happy they are that they can own a pet despite their dwelling situation. It doesn’t matter if the person is disabled, unwell, living alone, young, old, live in the coldest climate, apartment down town or a town house the benefits of animal companionship and breaking down barriers to pet ownership is what it’s all about – our product allows more people to be pet owners!

The most recent international pet show was Interzoo... that was an overwhelming experience! We setup our trade stand in Nuremberg Germany two months ago. This show is a biannual show and attracts in excess of 37,000 buyers from all over the world over four days. I met some phenomenal contacts and am going to visit them over the next few weeks where I plan to secure a significant partnership to grow the brand to where I vision it to be.

The products I have developed (we are more than just pet loo) are unique to the global pet industry, they also have a “wow” factor to them – it has put me and my company into a circle of highly successful people who all want to represent our brands in various regions and for us to become part of their strategic partnership group.

I love walking down town (in any major city I’m working in) going into a pet store and having the sales staff explain what the product is and how it works & the benefits it has without them realising I’m the one behind the product. I just love the excitement they have for the product ...

I'm a big believer that failure and the ability to deal with it shapes many entrepreneurs. What failures have you encountered and what would you change looking back?

Failures – Plenty BUT it's how you respond that makes you a champion. Coming from a amateur / professional sporting background you are going to win some games and lose some games but it's how you respond to a loss that allows you to overcome the opponent next time you meet them on the court by tending to the one percenters. While I ALWAYS knew I had it in me... In the past the areas I’ve chosen to really drive hard on haven’t really been ME or the vision and the task / industry haven’t worked. It shaped me which has positioned me to where I am right now. If I hadn’t done the things in the past, then I would have probably failed on this right now and learnt from that to do something else!

What were the three things would you say were most vital to your success with the Pet Loo?

To learn, to heed, to act!

I know where I am as a professional, but I seek the assistance and advise of those that have been there and done that before me. Individually I can’t take on the world but by surrounding myself with successful people with proven experience in excess of thirty years deep – I may come close... and if not... I’ll have a go!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Success With Attitude 2008

We recently held a motivational / business style conference in my home town of Launceston. It’s the fifth year we’ve held it and it was a huge success again. Each year I find I learn some really valuable lessons, not only from the speakers (who are always fantastic), but also just from helping put together the event with my co-organising superstars Ronald, Rob and Tim.

This year’s lessons for me were:

1. Marketing creativity doesn’t have to cost much more than a thought. When I walked two of our speakers to their rooms I was surprised to find that they’d been upgraded to gorgeous suites. When I thanked the Country Club Casino’s manager Rod for this he said there was no need to thank him. By upgrading these VIPs to suites they’d leave with a more favourable impression of his venue and hopefully tell others. Clever but simple Rod - I love it!

2. To rethink what I consider fundamental business skills. Our speakers this year were more diverse than ever. We had John Anderson (NZ: founder of Contiki), Justin Herald (Aust: who turned $50 into a multi million dollar business with Attitude) and Ron White (USA: Mr. Memory). When someone said to me prior to the event - “What does memory have to do with business?” I’m glad they were in the audience to hear Ron White meet over 50 people prior to the event and then rattle off each of their names from memory many times over during the evening. As Ron pointed out, if you’re the sales person, business owner or receptionist who can meet someone once and then see them again 6 months later and know their name, their hobbies and their kid’s name you’re far more likely to win their business. (to see what Ron’s amazing Memory in a Month is all about head here: http://www.yoursuccessstore.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=195&kbid=7167)

3. When someone’s heart is really behind a topic, their emotion can impact even more than the words they’re saying. John Anderson is one of the more emotional speakers I’ve heard and I was blown away by the reaction our audience had to a couple of his stories about his wife, some of Contiki’s more challenging times and what he does when he sees a Contiki bus now after having sold the company.

4. There are all sorts of ways to get things done and this fact was made obvious by John Anderson and Justin Herald. Both have phenomenal business stories to tell, but the two couldn’t be more different. It reminded me that when I see a Trump or a Packer and think, oh wow, I’m nothing like them, there’s hope for me and for every other unique entrepreneur out there to do things their own way.

5. Think before you speak. This one’s a bit of a personal lesson for me. I like to think I’m kind of funny sometimes and I said something to someone at the event which I found hilarious, but that wasn’t at all necessary - Oh Kirsty! I thought I’d outgrown this at age 16, but it seems as though I’m still a work in progress… aren’t we all though!?

6. Cliché’s often ring true. When I attended my first ever speaking event / conference I was told by a mentor that all I had to do was to take away one lesson from the event and I’d made my money’s worth. Since that time I’ve sat in the audience’s of some of the world’s finest and most acclaimed speakers (Tony Robbins, Denis Waitley, Les Hill, Seth Godin) and I’ve also sat in the audience of speakers you may not have heard of but who I consider to be world class (Marcelle Bernard, Ron Lee the corporate ninja, David Knox, Rick DeLuca, Eric Bailey, Anne McKevitt for a longer list see: http://www.kirstydunphey.com/lovetomeet.html) and I’ve learnt something valuable and powerful at almost every event I’ve ever been to, often worth ten times more than the price of admission. If you haven’t heard a speaker live on stage recently, get looking for an event to get your teeth stuck into! And if you can’t afford to see someone live, check out www.youtube.com and www.ted.com for some amazing keynotes online.

And that’s my wrap up for Success with Attitude 2008 our fifth, certainly not our last and absolutely one of my favourites!

Also: If you’re holding an event anywhere in the world, Ron White, Justin Herald and John Anderson are some of the most insightful and entertaining speakers you could choose from. I’d be happy to put you in contact with any of them, just contact me if you’d like me to do so.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, September 8, 2008

Success Junkie Interview - Ryan Hreljac - Founder Of Ryan's Well Foundation

At the age of 17, Ryan Hreljac is a compelling voice for those impacted by the water crisis throughout the developing world and his story has inspired many of all ages to take responsibility for their world, whether in their own communities or, like Ryan, in far away places. He is the founder of the Ryan’s Well Foundation, an organization supporting activities to BUILD safe water sources, EDUCATE individuals, schools, corporations and other service organizations to create awareness of water related issues and those with limited access to resources and MOTIVATE present and future leaders to realize their own global citizenship.

In 1998, 6-year-old Ryan Hreljac was shocked to learn that children in Africa had to walk many kilometers every day just to fetch water, the most basic element for human survival. Ryan decided he needed to build a well for a village in Africa. By doing household chores and public speaking on clean water issues, Ryan’s first well was built in 1999 at the Angolo Primary School in a northern Ugandan village. The well continues to serve thousands of people. Ryan’s determination grew from the $70 collected by doing simple household chores to the Ryan’s Well Foundation that today has contributed a total of 432 wells in 15 developing countries bringing clean water services to 577,640 people.

Ryan, what you've done with Ryan's Well is amazing, but the thing that strikes me is that you didn't wait until society might have thought you "old enough" to make a difference. What gave you the confidence to start so young towards your goal and what advice would you give others in pursuing their dreams at any age?

My story is really very simple. One day in January 1998, I was sitting in my Grade 1 classroom. My teacher, Mrs. Prest, explained that people were sick and some were even dying because they didn’t have clean water. She told us that some people walked for hours in Africa and sometimes it was just to get dirty water.

All I had to do was take 9 or 10 steps from my classroom to get to the drinking fountain and I had clean water. Before that day in school, I figured everyone lived like I did and so when I found this out, I decided I had to do something about it. I started doing extra chores, telling family and friends about the water crisis to raise money for a well in Africa. My goal of clean water for all has grown from $70 collected by doing household chores to the Ryan’s Well Foundation. Over 10 years, Ryan’s Well has carried out hundreds of projects in more than a dozen developing countries benefiting over half a million people who now have access to clean water and sanitation services.

My advice to anyone is that in order to make a positive change in the world, you need to find something that you are passionate about and then you need to take steps to act. Although they may be very small steps, if you keep at it and never give up, your impact will grow year after year. And whether you are a gas station attendant, the Prime Minister of the country or a kid in Grade 1, I hope my story is a reminder that we can all make a difference. This works regardless of whether you are short or tall, old or young. It applies to each and every one of us.

As a consequence of the work of Ryan's Well over half a million people in the world now have access to clean water where they didn't before - that's amazingly impressive. We all know though that on the road to success, most people have setbacks. What was one setback on your journey and how did you deal with it and overcome it?

I can’t really think of one set back specifically. We all have bumps in the road and we all need to learn to deal with them while keeping a positive attitude. I think your attitude is the most important part of dealing with any set back.

Ryan, you're a hero and a role model to a lot of people out there in the world (young and old), we'd like to know who your heroes are - who do you look up to and respect in the world?

I don’t really have any idols. I think that all people are human. We all have good characteristics as well as things we need to work on. If I really had to pick someone to admire it would be all the young people out there with the tenacity and determination to work for a better world.

And finally - what's next for Ryan and for Ryan's Well?

I have had an exciting and busy year. In late June, I returned from studying abroad with a school called Class Afloat (www.classafloat.com). I spent from September 2007 to January 2008 at a land based school in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. From February to June 2008, I studied and helped crew on the tall ship “Concordia.” Over the five months, we traveled to Salvador (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom), Cape Town (South Africa), Walvis Bay (Namibia), St. Helena (United Kingdom), Ascension Island, (United Kingdom), Fernando de Noronha (Brazil), Natal (Brazil), Belem (Brazil), Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Bahia de Samana (Dominican Republic), Hamilton (Bermuda) and Lunenburg (Nova Scotia). It was hard work and I was a little sleep deprived but loved sailing while learning about other countries and other cultures that make up our global village.

This fall, I will begin my final year of high school in Kemptville Ontario. I’m a pretty regular teenager. The only thing different about me is that I have been working on this project since January 1998, more than half of my life. But there are many other young people doing the exact same thing.

I continue to be involved with the foundation and have already had meetings with our new Executive Director and other staff and volunteers since my return to Kemptville. I continue to speak around the world on water issues and on the importance of making a difference no matter who you are or how old you are. Within the next few months, I will be in Taiwan, New York City, Toronto, Ottawa and western Canada speaking on behalf of the Foundation.

I am very excited about our new youth program – Ryan’s Well Ambassadors. Youth, like me, will be participating in a 3-day workshop learning and talking about water issues and the work of the Foundation. I hope that these Ambassadors will help us to spread the word about the difference we can all make by working together to build, educate and motivate people in communities across the planet.

The Foundation hopes to continue growing to take strong steps forward toward a brighter future for our friends in water poor countries by working with them to develop safe water points and proper sanitation so that they can build brighter futures for themselves.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What’s On The Inside Isn’t All That Counts – 4 simple steps to put the magic into online shopping

I ordered a book online earlier this year and eagerly checked my post box daily waiting for it. Two weeks later, nothing. No contact to say it had been delayed. No email to say my order had been dispatched or even received. No reply to my email politely asking them where my book was. Fast forward over four weeks before my book finally arrived (it must have been an arduous trek from Sydney to Tasmania.) The anticipation of the read was definitely diminished because of the wait and the lack of service.

It got me thinking, with so much trade happening online these days what are retailers doing to contribute to the excitement of the experience? I’ve surveyed a few friendof mine in retail and I’ve come up with a few ideas.

1. Email your client when they make their order (either have this automated or shock horror do it manually) and let them know:
a. When they can expect their order
b. When it will be shipped
c. How it will be shipped
d. And if you can, make it sound like a human wrote the email

2. Inject a bit of personality into your order. We often send out our orders from www.unleashedknowledge.com addressed to “Fabulous Jody Smith” or “Rock Star Robin”.

This comment left on a blog shows (think free publicity for your company) the impact this tiny gesture can have:

Saturday, June 28, 2008
I got wowed!
Today I received a package that I had ordered from Kirsty Dunphey.

It cost nothing to address it to me with the title as "The Awesome..." but it made me feel like a million dollars (is that how she got her first million by the time she was 23?).

They also included a mobile phone sock & a CD, but it was the title that made this package memorable.

It made me think how I can make my clients feel extra special ...
Posted by Tony
Friday, June 20, 2008 from http://tonysideaspage.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-got-wowed.html

3. As Tony mentioned in the point 2 – we like to include some extras when people purchase directly from us. Sometimes they’re cards, a mobile phone sock (a Mock!) or a DVD of me speaking –a nice little surprise (as opposed to a boring invoice) when people open their package.

Bex Gold, founder of the divine range of glamour cleaning products at www.cinderella.com.au told me: “I often add microfibre cloths or stain removal sachets - the feedback from consumers is really positive.”

Lara Solomon founder of www.mocks.com.au also includes a whole swag of kit for her online purchasers including pins and loot directly targeted to her major demographics.

4. This is something we’re not doing yet, but I really noticed the importance of it when I received my new Borne Naked Handbag liner.

Amanda George, founder of www.borne.com.au is the queen of style and branding. She sent me through these images showing her packaging. Gorgeous personalised label, pretty pink ness and fabulous branding all round.

Sammie Appleyard founder of www.funkyhomes.com.au and Lara Dall’Alba founder of www.destionationstyle.com.au pay the same attention to their packaging – and if their customers are anything like me, they appreciate the extra care.

So there you have it, 4 simple steps to make online shopping with YOU an experience.
1. Get in contact quickly with all the info
2. Have a personality (and show it)
3. Consider a bonus extra
4. Pack it like you care

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

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