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, December 23, 2008

Take It And Leave It

My favourite read of the day comes from Bob Nelson’s newsletter www.nelson-motivation.com where he shares that: Zappo’s, the up-and-coming women’s shoe online retailer that offers free shipping for both orders and returns, offers all employees $1500 to quit their job after they have finished the company’s initial 2-4 week training orientation. It’s the final test of if they have hired the right employees…

Talk about money where your mouth is! I love Zappo’s dedication to getting it right.

What else is Zappo’s doing right?

Communication: http://twitter.zappos.com/employee_tweets shows you Zappo’s staff and even their CEO http://twitter.com/zappos are using Twitter to communicate with and engage their customers.
Contagious Culture: Each year Zappos 31 year old CEO asks each employee to write a description of the culture of the organization. Something’s working with employees writing statements like: “Everyone at Zappos is so warm and inviting, like a nice bowl of oatmeal.”
Fan-makers: Their customer service creates fans. From the standard:
“customers can order shoes as late as 11 p.m. and still get next-day delivery” to the extraordinary as shown in this online testimonial:

“My wife had ordered a pair of sandals from Zappos. When they arrived, she found that they didn't fit. She tried to order the right size, but Zappos was sold out of her size. So here's what the company offered: she could return the sandals (for free), Zappos would refund the purchase price and they'd send her a $25 coupon toward her next purchase.

But wait — there's more! Zappos also offered to try to locate a pair of the sandals in her size from another vendor. (Hah! Sure, they will!) Fifteen minutes later, the company called my wife and told her they'd found her sandals, in her size, at another online merchant — "and," the Zappos clerk told her, "they're even cheaper at this other site!"


So.. in short, their staff love them, the public love them and their customers love them and wait… they sell SHOES! Seem’s like a great start to me!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can’t Train Gen-Y?

Can’t train your gen-y employees? Nonsense I say.

You want proof? I just called up my 19 year old –Gen Y – Nintendo loving brother at home on his day off from work. He accidentally answered the phone: “Thank you for calling (insert workplace name)”.

And don’t think my brother is anything other than a very-gen-y 19 year old. He’s not the first person racing to get in the office door every morning, but his training is so well imbedded that it’s with him even outside of the job.

C’mon – if McDonalds restaurant’s the world over are fundamentally run by 16 year olds your Gen Y’s can be trained, it may just take a little longer before it’s habit.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, December 12, 2008

FuturE-mail

Thanks to the chaps at Anthill magazine, I just found out about my new favourite website (well, for 5 seconds anyway) http://futureme.org/

FutureMe is a simple little site that lets you send a letter via email to yourself at some time in the future.

4 reasons you may want to use FutureMe:

1. To make some predictions about your life in say 5 years
2. To remind yourself of something (a birthday, an amazing day, to take your garbage out)
3. To kick start yourself (I like this one sent by Luke in the public section on the site: “man. stop being scared already, and just tell the girl you like her. it's not that hard, and she probably feels the same way about you. I hope.”)
4. Snapshot yourself right now, and write to remind your future self of what it’s like to be you today. What do you love, what do you hope for, what are you scared of. This one’s sort of like a quirky one day journal that you can read in the future (without the commitment of daily Dear Diary writing!)

Go on, give it a go 648,509 people have already talked to their future selves already… 648,510 now that I have too!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Newsletters (other than Kirsty's) Do You Love?

Kirsty subscribes to a large number of newsletters from all over the world, some of which are listed here - www.kirstydunphey.com/recommendations.html.

In response to a request from one of our readers we want to know what other newsletters and ezines you subscribe to and would recommend. Simply leave your comment on this blog and let us know the name of the newsletter, what it's about and why you love to receive it.

We will compile a list of responses and publish them in a later issue of Kirsty's weekly newsletter Advance To Go.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 4 comments

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ready To Give Up?

Winston Churchill’s often misquoted as giving an entire speech where all he said was “never give up” three times, in fact he said the following and a little more: "Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.” En Vogue and about a squillion others all know that it “‘aint over til the fat lady sings”! And even Rick Astley said he was “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down”… (yes, that was indeed a lame way to get an 80’s superstar into the blog!)

But you know what…with all of these stellar reference points, I’m still surprised at how much people do give up.

The PR firm who recent didn’t reply to my email asking them about their services (PS – anyone know a fabulous PR firm who do reply to emails? Let me know.

The real estate agent who told me that a property I had asked him to value was worth: “what it cost me, plus whatever profit I would be happy with”.

And my saddest quitter for the week showed themselves to me when I recently ran a contest to have a logo designed on www.99designs.com where we received over 180 entries. A few days into the contest I asked for a re-tweak on one of my favourite submissions. I didn’t hear anything back for a few days only to find out via a message later on that they’d “given up” when they’d seen the quality of the other entries. Funny thing – they were my favourite entry at the time they “gave up” and still ended up being my second favourite over all. If they’d not given up and been able to do the re-tweak, who knows what could have happened!

Now… I don’t believe you should never give up, have a read of Seth Godin’s book The Dip and you’ll see what I mean here… but in these cases please try:

1. Not to give up new business when it’s staring you right in the eye asking to deposit money into your account.
2. Not to give up when your “giving-up” reply will only serve to infuriate your client.
3. Not to give up when you’re just about to cross the finish line!

Today how bout we all let the only giving up you do be to “give it up” to someone in your life who rarely gives up!

I’ll start by giving it up to:

Lara Solomon, author of the hot on the shelves new business book Brand New Day who shares in diary format all the ups and downs of launching her Mocks business (think: Bridget Jones meets Richard Branson). Lara could have given up so many times, but she kept on plugging away and her story’s darn inspirational.

Rudy Ruettiger, whose story of never giving up on his dream to play football with Notre Dame was so inspirationally told in the 1993 movie Rudy.

Chistopher Reeve, the real superman to so many of us especially through his worth raising funds for spinal chord research in his last years with us.

Tim Ferriss, whose book – the Four Hour Work Week was turned down by 14 publishers (perhaps because the initial title was Drug Dealing for Fun and Profit!). Tim didn’t give up though and now his book has been translated into 31 langugages and was simultaneously the #1 book in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

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