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, April 23, 2009

My hero of the day: Sarah Breedlove Walker

I’d never heard of Sarah Breedlove before today. I saw a small tag line on an email saying that she was the first “millionairess” in the world after developing the hair straightener. I had to know more. Upon delving further I found out the following which continued to blow my mind:

• Sarah was born to freed slaves in Louisiana, USA in 1867
• Married at 14, she was orphaned and widowed by the age of 20
• Upon retirement Sarah built a house beside tycoon J.D. Rockerfeller
• The Guinness Book of Records lists Sarah Breedlove as the first female (black or white) who became a millionaire by her own achievements

In her own words: “There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard.”

After watching the recent election in America many people across the world are amazed to see what someone of African American descent is able to do right now. How phenomenal is it to then consider what Sarah Breedlove Walker was able to accomplish as a female African American, over a hundred years ago.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Forward to the future

I’ve always loved the Back the Future trilogy. There was something so very exciting about watching them in the 80’s (something that had next to nothing to do with my crush on Alex P. Keaton.

Kids flying around on hoverboards, cars that flew and used garbage to create a nuclear reaction, video games you played only with your mind.

We’re now living in “Back to the Future”’s future and I must admit I’m pretty astonished at what the internet can allow us to do.

I just bought a friend the gift of giving literacy classes in Cambodia as his birthday present It took me less than 3 minutes.

In New York a boy saw an intriguing girl in the subway. He was too shy to talk to her, but upon regretting it he made a website with a drawing of her and actually tracked her down and they ended up dating!

A guy traded one red paperclip for a house using the internet to find potential traders.

And while I don’t yet have a hoverboard if the internet can do all this I’m not giving up hope on that yet either!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, April 20, 2009

Crazy about the clean: why did you get referred?

In chatting about the ancient art of tattooing recently (no, I’m not game enough to have any, but yes, I find them fascinating) I was surprised to hear my husband of all people highly recommending a particular tattoo artist.

Given my husband’s tattoo free stance I was surprised that he would recommend anyone and was keen to find out what was so amazing about this artist’s work. Turns out however that my husband wasn’t referring him based on his work but on the fact that when a friend of his tried to enter the premises with shoes on he was told to leave and the floor was immediately mopped where he’d walked. The commitment to maintaining a sterile environment had impacted on the person getting the tattoo so much that he had then told it to who knows how many people and that story had impacted on my husband enough for him to pass on the artist’s name.

It’s an unusual referral chain! Who’d have thought a tattoo artist would be getting referred because he was crazy about the clean? I certainly wouldn’t have, but his passion for sterility made such an impact that it’s become a little bit like urban legend and inspires confidence in respect to safety to those that hear about the story.

It got me thinking that you might not always know why people refer you: I’ve heard home owners refer builders because they took the time to clean up their work site at the end of each day and one of my uni lecturers loved telling the class that he flew Singapore airlines because they always have the “prettiest” cabin crew.

Or why people don’t refer you: I’ve heard an irate friend tell people not to shop at a local grocery store because they rudely refused a $20 note when she was shopping for something that cost less than $5.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

When to pop the question?

You’d be unlikely to ask your girlfriend to marry you while she was sitting on the toilet (I hope!) You’d also feel uneasy if your taxi driver asked you to fill out a survey on his driving skills as soon as you hopped inside his taxi. And I’m sure you’d be reticent about asking for a pay rise in the middle of a disciplinary discussion about your extreme use of facebook on work time.

Sometimes when you ask is just as important as what you’re asking.

I was reminded of this recently at a speaking job. I make it a priority to get feedback after my talks but in my eagerness to promptly ask the organiser if he was happy with my performance… I did so while we were both still on stage in front of 500 people (thankfully my microphone was off).

I think, on that day, something in my subconscious needed some positive reinforcement so I asked the question at a time when the organiser couldn’t possibly give me bad feedback. For one, he had about 5 seconds to answer and secondly who’s going to say they weren’t happy while the speaker is still on stage!! It was a silly time to ask, and it made his response meaningless, but it was a good lesson for me to learn because I know it’s not the first time I’ve eagerly done this.

When I followed up via email later on and asked the question again (at the far more appropriate time) I got exactly the kind of valuable feedback the question (at that time) deserved.

What’s an important question looming in your future and when is the most appropriate time to ask it?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Life in 30 minute blocks

I recently had to wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours which measured my blood pressure by constricting (very tightly!) a big black band around my arm every 30 minutes while I was awake.

While it was uncomfortable, the thing that really struck me was how quickly 30 minutes goes by. So much so that I got a bit manic by the end of the day with each 30 minute block appearing to come quicker and quicker making me wonder what on earth I’d been doing the past 30 minutes!

Perhaps it’s because I’ve just celebrated my 30th birthday that I’m watching the time that passes a little more closely, I’m not sure. All I know is that having something that brought to my attention that time passing was certainly an illumination experience and made me realise that each 30 minutes gone are ones I’m not getting back!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What would you ask for if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Last night the proud dad of my 3 year old nephew recounted my nephew’s “order” at their recent family BBQ.

When asked what he would like to eat, Patrick replied that he would like “20 sausages” and then after thinking about it a bit more, he decided that no, he would like “all the sausages”.

But what would his Dad eat? Well, Patrick has a plan for that too. His Dad was allowed to eat “BBQ sauce”.

Of course, the story received a few giggles all round. It got me thinking though: a 3 year old has no imposed limits (self or otherwise). When Patrick thought he wanted “all” the sausages, that’s exactly what he asked for.

If you had no self imposed limits –what would you ask for? What would be “all the sausages” for you?

An earth shattering-ly mind blowing relationship full of passion and love?

A career that makes you smile just thinking about going to work each morning?

To visit every country in the world at least once?

The ability to change the world?

A wardrobe that houses 1,000 gleaming pairs of shoes… (ok that one may just be me).

Thanks to Patrick for reminding me that 3 year olds, while they don’t always get “all the sausages”, are amazing because at least they ask for them!

Ask the world for something amazing today – and then take action to start making it happen. You may not get “all the sausages” but you’ll never know if you never ask!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Don’t forget “back thing”

We found this workout regime downstairs in our “shed”, a reminder of inhabitants past.

I had to take a photo and share it with you because it so accurately represents the procedures I find in so many small businesses.

I’m sure the exercise “back thing” was completely self explanatory to our lone exerciser in the shed, but if I were to try and replicate his exercise plan using just his procedure it’d be complete pot luck as to whether I was anywhere near what he meant by “back thing”.

How many “back thing”-esque occurrences are there in your procedures?

If I came into your workplace today and sat down with your procedures could I complete your systemised tasks or would I be left scratching my head and wondering what on earth you meant?

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Fire the boss!

According to a Gallup survey around 24% of employees in the United States would fire their boss if they could.

If you’re an employee, you may already be smirking at the thought of firing the head honcho! If you are the boss, what percentage of your employees do you think would give you the flick if they could?

5 things a boss can do to stop being “virtually” fired

1. Quickly write down the top 5 words you would most like your employees to use when describing their boss to a friend or family member. Then write down the 5 words you’re afraid they may actually be using!

2. Have your employees anonymously rate you every time you rate them (ie: performance review time). It’s scary as heck, but a great way to get essential feedback on the areas you need to improve.

3. Give great exit interviews. Do everything to find out the real reasons why your staff leave.

4. Encourage feedback and act on it. Become known as the boss who can not only take it when someone provides constructive criticism (in a respectful way) but the boss who will actually amend policy and behaviour when required.

5. Listen. When you know that your staff are whining – that’s a sign to listen. When you know that your staff are actively looking for other jobs – that’s a sign to listen. When your staff up and leave and you have no idea they’re looking for other employment – that’s a sign to listen.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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