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)...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Venom, Fury and Bile



Ever held a grudge for a really long time? I know full-grown adults who are still holding grudges from primary school.

What’s it getting them? What’s holding a grudge getting anyone?

-       Probably a knot in the pit of their stomach whenever their mind consciously or inadvertently goes to thoughts of that person.
-       Bile, fury and venom that builds within them and serves typically to darken that person’s life – not the object of their grudge.

This is life. People will behave in ways you see as irrational. People will behave according to their own codes of conduct – which may not always align with your own. People will upset you. People will even do things which justifiably deserve your anger.

So after some frustration happens, you can continue, indefinitely, to hold a grudge:

-       Or you can let the object of your grudge know your feelings (where appropriate) and you can try and resolve it like rational adults.
-       Or you can let it go and move on with your life.
-       Or you can use that anger as motivational fuel rather than bile fuel! To do this you need to figure out how you can totally nullify the anger you feel by being so grateful for what it has motivated you to do.

This year has been a challenging one for me. There have been a few times where I’ve been pretty furious in the moment – and it’s been a huge learning experience for me. I willingly put myself in situations that I now wouldn’t do again. I’m thankful for those lessons even though they were painful to learn.

In one situation where I felt probably the most let down, I let the anger build for a little while but then I decided I was going to go with option three above. I was going to get myself to a point where I felt thankful for the situation because of what it motivated me to do.

I made a commitment (verbally to someone I knew needed to hear it) that everything the business lesson cost was going to have been recovered within 12 months through smarter choices. We did it within 6.

So while when New Years Eve kicks around I could be looking back furious at the year, instead, I choose (and it’s definitely a choice) to look back with thanks and excitement at the changes I’ve made and the decisions I won’t make again in the future.

Bye bye grudge.  Bye bye bile. Bye bye venom.  Bye bye fury. Hello genuine, heart felt thanks. 

By Kirsty Dunphey with 5 comments

Friday, December 21, 2012

What’s your focus?




Think about your business in terms of each individual component for a moment.

A hairdresser might break it down into:
  • ·      Cutting
  • ·      Colouring
  • ·      Hair competitions
  • ·      Styling
  • ·      Product sales
  • ·      Make up etc

An accounting might have the categories of:
  • ·      Tax returns
  • ·      Audits
  • ·      Company
  • ·      Individual etc

Now bear in mind –these are just guesses above, neither is my field – my accountant and hairdresser can both attest to that!

Our focus at Elephant Property since the beginning of September was set when the whole team agreed to a specific set of measures based around the areas of:
  • ·      Arrears (late rental payments)
  • ·      Maintenance
  • ·      Invoices (where tenants need to pay owners or tradespeople money)
  • ·      Feeling of well being in the team
  • ·      Hand written cards


Let’s take one of these measures as our “focus” for this blog post. Arrears. In our real estate agency a tenant is in “arrears” (behind in their rent) when they’re one day behind or late with their rent. Ever since our inception in 2009 we’ve prided ourselves on following up late rental payments if a tenant is even one day behind and we’ve always had an extremely low percentage of rental arrears.

BUT. We wanted to “change the game” and become truly exceptional at this area.

Prior to September our record for zero tenants even one day behind in their rent was three days in a row. And as a disclaimer this was set in our first year of business when the size of the number of properties we manage was tiny.

And ever since 2009 it had seemed like a barrier we couldn’t break through.  Speak to anyone in the industry and they’ll tell you that many of them have never even seen one day without arrears –so three would probably seem great!  We knew however, that if we pushed ourselves we were capable of more. If we focused on this area we were confident we could break our old record.

These are the steps we went about in terms of drilling down our focus:

·      First we had a goal – well two actually:
1.     Break the old record
2.     Consistently for three months running keep our arrears under four per day. “Four” being days behind. Ie: if we had two tenants one day behind on a particular day- the tally for that day would be 2 – and a pass. If we had three tenants all two days behind – that would be six and a fail. We’d keep a running tally for the month and if we averaged less than 4 per weekday we “passed” the month. (If we got zero on any day it subtracted five from the tally and if we got a new record we automatically passed the month).
·    
  Where we had always been right onto every tenant the day they fell behind we got more proactive and figured out which of our tenants (historically speaking) were likely to fall even one day behind and we started contacting them significantly prior to them falling behind to put plans into place so that they didn’t set us off track.
·      
And finally – we all took it personally. The goal we set involved a team trip to Melbourne as a reward – but I honestly think just the fact that we set ourselves the goal in writing made it that much more visible. Just this morning as I write this (Tuesday, 27 November) we’ve had a zero arrears day, but Sally and Catherine on our team are already working on our next potential hiccup – a tenant who may fall behind on Friday and I’ve just seen 4 emails back and forth about how we’re not going to let that happen. That’s personal to them. They care. They’re invested.

How did we go with our goal? In September we started well, but had two tenants whose arrears, despite our strict follow up and efforts we couldn’t overcome. In short – we failed for the month.  Importantly – we didn’t give up or let that initial failure derail us.

Here’s how October looked:



After one solid month of focus (September) – even though we didn’t achieve our goals – you can see that focus paid off in October. Not only did we get a new record, but continuing on into November we smashed our old record with 8 days of zero arrears in a row.

Here’s November so far:



The “7” anomaly in November is due to the public (and bank) holiday in Launceston (my home town) on the Monday.

As you can see, right now as I write we’re on track for a new record (we hope!) with 6 days at zero. Want to know how we went? Shoot me an email – I’d love to tell you – Kirsty {at} elephantproperty.com.au

This extreme focus on just a few areas of our business has resulted in big goals across lots of areas. November will be the best month our company has ever had, our satisfaction levels across the team and company are at all time highs and the great thing about focusing on something for a long period – it becomes a habit. Our team is now habitually crazy about arrears follow up. I hope I can tell you soon that we’ve hit double digits!

So now back to you. What do you need to focus on in your business.

Here’s the steps again:
  • What goal will you set and how will you measure success?
  • What will you do differently to how you’ve already done?
  • And who’s going to get personally involved and WHY?

By Kirsty Dunphey with 3 comments

Friday, December 14, 2012

Herb-itual Habits



As I reached back before heading to the gym, hairband in hand, to put my hair back in a ponytail I realized how ingrained that habit was in me. The reason it was so clear? My hair is currently less than an inch long after I shaved it off for charity.

So without hair of even close to ponytail length, my habitual brain still decided it’d be best to tie it back so it didn’t flap in my eyes at the gym.

My habitual brain – for want of a moniker lets call Kirsty’s habitual brain “Herb” is the same reason my fingers flick back to my mail application whenever I hear that happy little ding of “new mail”.

Herb’s also the reason I “oh so quietly” close the child gates on my stairs as I climb up and down regardless of whether my child is asleep or even in the house.

Herb’s the reason I still, ever now and then, answer the phone without thinking with the greeting of a former workplace (sometimes right back to the very first real estate agency I ever worked at).

Herb’s the reason I drove a staff member home from a property, right to my house instead of back to the office – Herb switched onto auto pilot when he saw a certain street and before I knew it, I was home.

From what I can figure – this part of my brain “Herb” is actually a pretty good guy – for the most part. He helps cut out a lot of the clutter and allows me to focus on what needs doing. He does so much of my daily routine without me having to put much thought into it.

It’s only Herb’s small dark side I need to worry about. His dark side shows when I open a web browser and automatically feel a need to see my facebook and twitter feeds. He’s slightly more evil when I find myself unable to type a blog or letter in full without flicking back to check my emails mid thought stream. Bugger – I just did it then.

While it’s great to have some of your life on auto pilot – Herb, wastes a fair bit of my productive time as well. I can leave it as a happy trade off – I get some time or I lose some time or I can start to discipline Herb. I can turn the new mail notification sound off on my computer. Done – just now as easy as googling what I wanted to do, and while in there I changed my automatic mail download from every 5 minutes to every 30 (hey it’s a start – we can’t all be Tim Ferriss – 4 hour work week).

Do you need to discipline your habitual brain? 

By Kirsty Dunphey with 4 comments

Friday, December 7, 2012

ARG!


This is the word I use when I’m angry/frustrated/annoyed. Usually – I’m partially to blame and I certain was this weekend past when all I could think was “ARG!!”.

A customer had sent an email and I’d replied to it – flippantly, without the right amount of tact and without the type of customer service I usually proudly deliver.

And guess what – he had the nerve to call me on it!

He even suggested I write a blog on it called “Teacher Doesn't Apply Own Lessons”.

ARG!

I was steaming. I fumed. I vented a little. I wrote back to him and challenged him.

He backed down.

I calmed down and tried to reopen the dialogue. Because… he was right.

He handled the matter tactfully and in a grown up manner. And eventually I got there too (I hope).

So while I won’t indulge him and write a blog called Teacher Doesn't Apply Own Lessons” – I will write one admitting…

-       that even those of us who love customer service, have our off days
-       that we should all take time to pause before we reply to emails either too light heartedly, with venom or with anger
-       that even if we don’t necessarily see the customer’s point – we should thank them for bringing it to our attention rather than just whining about it behind our backs – or, in this day and age, whining about it behind our bank and in everyone’s face on social media.

Thank you Terry – lesson received loud and clear. 

By Kirsty Dunphey with 3 comments

Friday, November 30, 2012

Are you creating a business for yourself or just a well paying job?


The amazing wedding photographer who gets paid $10,000 for a days work has an amazing business right? Not necessarily. That same wedding photographer falls ill or decides they don’t want to photograph 30 weddings a year and their income stream dies down. That wedding photographer has created a well paying job for herself.

The phenomenal public speaker who gets paid $8,000 for an hours work and speaks at 70 events a year – that’s a wonderful business right? Depends how you look at it. If that same public speaker sent Joe Blogs employee in their place to do a keynote speech – do you think the client would go for it? The public speaker has created a well paying job for himself.

The retail store owner who can sell anything to anyone and has 5 staff members. Now that’s a business right? Not if the moment he walks out the door sales drop 50%. He’s created… you guessed it – a well paying job for herself.

Now – I’m not saying that having a well paying job isn’t wonderful – especially if you love the work.

But…

-       it’s hard to sell a well paying job as an asset
-       a well paying job suffers if you’re off “work” for an extended period of time (illness, pregnancy, taking time to explore the world)

The great thing about everyone above?  There’s ways for them to create business aspects to what they do.

The wedding photographer who sells prints, does other work that can be put into a book or exhibit finds ways to create leverage.

The public speaker who leverages their brand into a book, an e-series, an online educational program or a subscription based website instantly creates an income stream that works for them day or night.

And the retail store owner who lets go of being the face and trains her staff to take the fore can turn his job into a business – and a saleable one at that.

Do you have a business or a job? Do you want to start your own business or create a job for yourself? Is what you’ve built saleable? Does it work for you whether you spend the day in bed in your pjs or you’re out in the field. Mmm…. I’m writing this in my pjs!  

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Moments…


As a child I remember my parents telling me where they each were when man walked on the moon for the first time. Such an epic moment that I think most people alive July 20, 1969 would remember where they were at that moment.

There are four moments in my life thus far, where most people I know remember where they were and sadly, none offer the hope that the moon walk did.

I was lying in bed awoken by frantic knocking at my door by a friend who simply said “turn on the television” and that’s where I sat glued for the rest of the day watching the September 11 bombings. September 11, 2001.

I heard the news about Princess Dianna’s passing with friends one afternoon while I was in my first year of University. August 31, 1997.

I sat as a passenger being driven the length of my gorgeous home state of Tasmania unbelieving as the Port Arthur massacre was being retold via radio. April 28, 1996.

And most recently I was in a Singapore hotel, unwell, and spent half a day watching news coverage telling me that Michael Jackson had passed away.  June 25, 2009.

I know I won’t be alone in remembering where I was when I heard about each of these four moments and in lieu of something wonderful like a moon walk I thought I might think about my own life changing moments – days I’ll never forget, but where I might just be one of only a handful who feel the same.

January 12, 2009 – the day we launched Elephant Property – www.elephantproperty.com.au.

September 1, 2010 – the day we launched sister company Elephant Property Hobart.

February 12, 2001 – the day I first became principal of my own real estate agency, opened with my first two business partners.

November 26, 2005 – my wedding day.

January 5, 2011 – the birth of my first child.

What are your special dates? Most of us remember birthdays, wedding anniversaries and the like (especially thanks to facebook these days!) – but the day a business started up is an easy one to overlook. The day your employees started with you – again, easy to not remember, but so special if you can make a fuss out of them. The day a friend or client opens their business – again – amazing if you can remember and celebrate that with them.

What special dates do you need to track?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, November 16, 2012

Confidently Confident


Earlier this year I sat in a room full of amazing talented females. Photographers galore, of which, I was almost definitely the least experienced (kind of how I like it when I’m learning a new skill).

The woman leading the workshop asked the group at one time “who here doesn’t feel confident?” Now it was a fairly open question. It wasn’t who here doesn’t feel confident they’re the best photographer in the word, or the best in the room, it was just simply “who doesn’t feel confident”.

As I looked around the room I was stunned to see every single person in the room put up their hand – without fail – except myself.

In this room were photographers who are able to so spectacularly capture images that make my heart literally skip a beat with joy and yet none of them left their hand down to confess they felt confident.

I think that some people confuse confidence with arrogance or cockiness and that’s an easy mistake to make whether it’s in the portrayal or the interpretation and maybe that’s a reason some of the amazing women in the room didn’t feel they wanted to own up to the title “Confident”.

For me, the way I saw it however was that these women were predominantly in business for themselves. That takes exceptional confidence. We spoke at length about charging a price that put a high value on the work that they do, despite being bombarded with discount counterparts on every front. Again, being able to stand up for what you’re worth takes huge confidence. They get in front of and control both small and large groups wrangling newborns to pets to octogenarians and give them guidance on styling, posing, locations and more. And to do it well, as so many of them do, that too takes exceptional confidence.

I see the work these women put forward and I see the confidence in it. I see the confidence in them, even where they don’t in themselves and that confidence is spectacular and should be celebrated unashamedly.

Are you confident?

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gold Class Prices


I excitedly hopped on to Village Cinema's website recently to purchase Gold Class tickets for my husband and I to go and see a movie. Being the parent of a tiny person I've seen very few movies in the 20 odd months since she was born and the excitement rushing through me at being able to have 3 hours to chill out with my husband was pretty darn huge. 

As I stepped through the website choosing my cinema, movie and time I was pretty stunned to find out that if I wanted to book these tickets online I would also have to pay an extra $5 per ticket for the privilege of booking online. Now this confuses me. To book online, I'd still be paying with credit card, as I would if I walked into the cinema, no extra charge to them there. They're saving the cost of having a staff member process my payment, less cost to them there. They're getting my money up front and in advance meaning they know which sessions are booked out / empty earlier, great for planning and if I don't show up for some parental emergency they're also keeping my money which I never would have paid if I'd waited until I walked in to purchase my ticket. 

In short, it's going to cost them less and be more beneficial for them - and yet they're putting a barrier up to me doing it. 

Online shopping is favourable to so many these days because it's (usually) easier, because it's (often) cheaper and because it's (frequently more) convenient and yet, online shopping at Village Cinemas is not that much easier - there's usually not a line at Gold Class, it's not cheaper and given the first two items it's not more convenient. I think they might be missing the point. In a day and age where more and more people download to watch and half my local video stores have closed down and the others are massively downsizing I would have thought a cinema would be doing everything they could to provide me with a seamless online experience to encourage me to make the move to sit in a plush theatre and experience a real movie experience. 

What do customers see when they experience your business online? Can they easily contact you (one click). Can they see your physical presence opening hours? Can they read your website well on their mobile phone? Do you have any unnecessary barriers to working with you online?

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Client Whisperer


As some of you reading may remember from previous posts, I met my husband at work. Not surprising given that I’ve spent my life from about 15 onwards starting and working furiously in my own small businesses.

One day – almost a decade ago a very spunky man came in and bought a property through my real estate agency. Mistaking me for the receptionist we struck up a conversation, lit a spark and… the rest is my own beautiful love story.

We were chatting recently though and he reminded me of the very wise friend he had brought in  to the office one day while we were, for want of a better word, “courting”.

Unsure if I felt the same way he felt he asked a mate to come into my office on one of his (then very regular) visits. When they left – he asked for his friend’s honest assessment of my romantic interest in him.

His friend told him unequivocally that I was interested. How did he know? He hadn’t watched me one bit during the conversation I’d had with my future husband that day.

Instead, he’s watched the other 3 girls in my office. While my husband concentrated on trying to glean my interest in the purposefully muted conversation I was having with him. His friend watched my workmates knowing that if had interest, I would have surely told my workmates. The giggling, whispering behind hands and intent glances from my workmates was all he needed to see to confirm that yes, in fact, I had a massive crush on his friend.  

Clever right? Intuitive, sensible, logical. This guy was a “girl whisperer”.

Some of my favourite mentors and role models have had this sort of intuition when it comes to clients and buying signals and even staff members. They’re client whisperers.

They know when to stop pitching and just allow clients to sign the deal. They know when a client isn’t really telling you a million small details, but telling you they want you to be extremely careful of how you handle their property because they are going to list it with you (right now if you give them the chance). They know when a staff member’s work quality is dropping because they have personal issues and how that differs from someone who is just dissatisfied or even to someone who is just not feeling challenged and needs more work stimulation.

Subtlety and knowing where to look are often very underrated. Rather than just knowing your ABCs (always be closing) – perhaps also remember who you need to be closing (I’ve seen hundreds of sales people try to close me when it’s my husband making the purchase and vice versa). Good luck in your journey towards becoming a client whisperer. I’ll let you know if I ever find someone as good as the girl whisperer!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, October 26, 2012

Do your damn homework!


I got a call today from someone looking to sell me something. Something expensive. Something I may have wanted to buy. Something I would have been one of perhaps less than 5 potential buyers for. 

And his first words to me after I introduced myself on the phone were "and Kirsty, are you one of the directors of the company?"

A 30 second trip to our website prior to calling would have told him that there are two directors of our company - I'm one of them.

This wasn't a telemarketer, this wasn't someone making thousands of sales calls, this was one chap, making 5 or less phone calls and he couldn't be bothered to simply find out who he should be speaking to at each company he was calling. 

When do you need to do your damn homework? 

Do you need to do a linkedin search prior to heading to your next job interview?
Do you need to google the awesome person you met at the networking event last night?
Do you need to find out what facebook friends you have in common with the potential client you're trying to land?

Where will 30 seconds extend your reach by 30 miles?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, October 19, 2012

How to have it all


I sat, perched on the edge of my seat, hands clasped together, eyes downturned and… if I’m fair… a bead of sweat glancing across my forehead.

The nerves and anticipation I felt this week as I sat willing with every fibre in my body for my business partner, the amazing Megan Hampton to have her name called out at the Tasmanian Business Women’s Awards was ten times that which I felt when I sat in her seat myself a decade ago.

This year however, it wasn’t Megan’s year for the glory of the win – but I could not be more proud of her for being named as a finalist in two categories for Tasmania. She is a shining example of someone who has committed herself to growth and continued learning as she’s gone from being a complete real estate newbie, to an amazing property manager, to now owning her own real estate business (luckily – with me!) over the past years. Her development has been nothing short of staggering and add to that she took the leap of business ownership for the first time while she was 7 months pregnant, well – it’s no wonder I had tears in my eyes when I described my admiration for her in a referee call for the Telstra awards.

Even more of a compliment to Megan? The woman whose name was called out instead of hers. Partner in a Launceston accounting firm, Lucinda Mills was a stranger to me before the awards luncheon, and yet, I could see why she was a very deserving winner in the category Megan was with her in, but also why she won the overall award on the day.

These words sprang to mind when I heard her speech.

Real.
Determined.
Steadfast.
Innovative.

For me, when I hear someone speak there’s always one thing above others that stays with me. From Lucinda’s talk it was to ask for help. She spoke about the amazing support she’d had from family in her attempt to “have it all” – a flourishing career, an amazing marriage, travel and to be a great Mum.

Ask for help.

I’ve often thought that for me this has been the hardest challenge for me since becoming a mum (who still wants to build amazing businesses). I’ll happily delegate, don’t get me wrong. But ask for help? Admit I can’t do it all? I rarely had to do it before I became a mum to my gorgeous girl last year.  

Now, sometimes I need to ask for help just to go to the toilet on my own without a toddler clinging to my leg! As someone who has always been incredibly independent asking for help is hard for me. Maybe it is for you too.

But now, for me, if I want to have it all, if I want to be everything I’m capable of being, I need to ask for help. I need to not be afraid to ask for help. I need to surround myself with people who want to help me. I need to want to help them in return so that the relationship is synergistic.

Thank you Lucinda Mills for the reminder – congratulations on your success at these awards and for the role model you are to myself and no doubt now, countless others. Thank you to Megan Hampton, someone I am so fortunate to have as a friend, confidant, business partner and role model. And congratulations to every single woman who inspired someone enough that they nominated you for a Telstra Business Women’s Award this year – you are all incredible! 

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Friday, October 12, 2012

Successful People Finish Stuff


I heard this line above "Successful People Finish Stuff" at a training conference recently - I'm sorry I can't even remember the speaker who said it, just that it resonated with me. Every successful person I know, for want of more eloquent phrasing "finishes stuff". Is it revolutionary? Breakthrough? Amazing? Nope. But is it bloody important? Absolutely. 

So, I got thinking... if "Successful People Finish Stuff" - what else do they all do? I thought about the amazingly successful people around me and tried to find commonalities and here's what I came up with, a list that was true in 99% of cases based on the successful people I know and have read about.

 - Successful people believe in themselves (even if at times they have doubt)
 - Successful people do things that aren't always in other people's comfort zones
 - Successful people start somewhere (even if it's a teeny tiny step in right direction)
 - Successful people consult others, but listen to their gut
 - Successful people fail
 - Successful people don't allow themselves mope / wallow / dwell (for long)
 - Successful people aspire
 - Successful people have role models
 - Successful people mix it with cool people (note cool here doesn't mean the same as it meant in high school... think inspiring, achieving, encouraging people) 
 - Successful people share
 - Successful people continually learn

What else do successful people do? Love to hear your thoughts - comment on the blog... 

By Kirsty Dunphey with 3 comments

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How full is your favour bank?


A girlfriend I love dearly called me a few weeks back and asked me, in a bit of flap, if I could pick up her child in a couple of hours from after school care because she had a work event that was running late. I’d do anything for her, so I rearranged what I had planned for that afternoon and made myself available for her. In the end, I wasn’t actually needed, but regardless I would have been if necessary and it wouldn’t have mattered the favour. If she asked me – I’d work my butt off to do it.

As a personal friend and someone I care dearly about – her favour bank with me is always full. I know that I could pick up the phone to her and make the same call and, if she could, she’d be there for me.  I’m sure you have a number of personal friends with exactly the same relationships.

What about at work though? How full is your work favour bank? Among our amazing team one staff member pops to mind when I think of a favour bank. She always goes above and beyond, never takes any small gesture for granted, feels apologetic if she needs to go to a doctors appointment, will always try to help wherever possible.  Is she a perfect robot team member who never gets anything wrong? No, she’s a junior staff member and she’s learning the ropes of working in an office. But if she called me after hours and asked me to do a personal favour for her because she needed it, I wouldn’t think twice. I think for any of her workmates, myself absolutely included, her favour bank would be full – and yet, she’ll probably never call on it (that’s just the kind of girl she is) and she’d be horrifically embarrassed to think I’d written this about her.

In my industry – real estate, there’s always a need for a full favour bank. You’re under the pump, you have 6 appointments straight and you need X done – who can you call on? A colleague who financially will gain nothing from helping you? Only if your favour bank is full (or if you’re terrifying!)

What can you do to fill your favour bank? Its simple: good deeds inspire reciprocity. It’s one of my favourite words and it simply means that if you’re helpful to others, if you’re generous, if you’re giving, you’ll inspire them to want to do the same in return for you. How are you inspiring reciprocity and filling your favour bank today?

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two and a half years into the future



Two and a half years ago I wrote the following article which appeared in my newsletter. Given that that this is the last weekly newsletter I'll be sending out (scroll down to find out how to subscribe to the blog to keep reading) I wanted to share something which completely exemplifies why I write and share.

To read the article first - click on in here.

Mid September I received this comment on the blog post:

Hi Kirsty,
I am not sure if you will read this comment but I will write it anyway.

My name is Lauren and I am the person that you wrote this post about 3 years ago.

I would just like to say that I still have that email sent to my mum containing the article about me, intact I am sitting here looking at it now, it is pinned up on my pin board, which is where it has been for the past 3 years.

I can still remember when you came to my house and whilst you were here you asked me if you could write about me and I am really pleased that you did. When I read that article it taught me a lot of things:


One, that I do want to create the life I want, when i was twelve I only understood just the basics of something like this and now that I am a lot older I understand a whole lot more about life and I now know that I definitely want to create my own life.


Two, to work hard for things and I know that this dream board showed me that if I set my mind too things I can achieve it and although I have long taken my dream board down of my wall it is still there, tucked away in my cupboard, away from viewing eyes and I still look at it from time to time just to remind myself to keep going and to never give up trying for something I want whether it may be a material thing like a pair of skis, a holiday or a long term thing like a job.

I would just like to share with you some of my accomplishments off of my dreamboard, although I have not completed all of my dreams on there and I may not complete all of them as some of them are no longer a dream of mine, I did complete the wants that I really did want to achieve.

One: I wanted to earn my very own pair of skis.
I achieved this one two years ago when I finally managed to conquer my fears and go outside of the wake on skis, I did this and once I did do that I became unstoppable. I went on to learn to slalom ski and am now hoping to get my own slalom ski as a result of this. To me this showed to me that I can do something if I set my mind to it and if anyone out there is worried because they might fall along the way, you just have to learn to get back up, brush yourself off and try again, exactly like i did when learning to go outside of the wake. If I fell off, I just got back up, put my skis back on and tried again! You can achieve anything you want to if you just try.

Two: I wanted to receive an a+ in school
I can tell you that I have received many a+'s in school since then and I continue to receive to this very day.

Three: I had on my dream board that I wanted to become an architect and a chef. Well as you get older and I'm sure everyone knows this, you change your mind. So when I was was 12 my dream was to become an architect and a chef but I have since changed that and I am now working towards becoming a lawyer. I am only in grade nine at the moment and my mind will probably change again but that is what it is right now.

The last thing on my dreamboard that I am going to tell you about is that I wanted to receive a medal in hockey. I have just finished my fourth year in hockey as the season just ended. On my dreamboard I did have a gold medal but the medal that I received was a lot better than a gold medal and I am proud of myself for getting it. It wasn't a best and fairest or a most goal scorer or anything like that. It was a medal for the coaches award, it isn't a gold medal and it certainly dosent have the Olympic emblem on it but it shows to me that I can do it. I am only as good as what think I am, I just did my best and by doing that I was rewarded and I am happy that I did because that just encouraged me to try harder and I did try harder because this year i got most goal scorer award and that s something I never thought I would get but I did and that is cause I believed in myself, I believed that I could do it and I did.

Thank you for writing that article about me in 2010, it has shown me what a great person I can be and I hope it showed other people that they can achieve things f they set their minds it it as well.

From Lauren


------

How cool is that? Where will you be two and a half years into the future? What will you have achieved? Where do you need to write down or draw or cut out a picture to give you guidance?  Lauren is still my hero - I want my little girl to read her story one day. Thank you for sharing in mine - and I hope you'll continue to do so on the blog.

By Marjorie with No comments

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pay what you think is fair - Kirsty's 2 CD Customer Service Set

So - I did it once before... I sold my book Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can for "whatever you thought was fair" - you can read about the results here: http://blog.kirstydunphey.com/2012/08/what-would-you-pay-if-you-didnt-have-to.html

and.... I'm going to do it again. 

This time with my 2 CD set on customer service. It's not industry specific, it's just for anyone who works with people, and wants to knock their socks off with their customer service. 

To go ahead and take advantage head on in here: http://blog.kirstydunphey.com/p/interaction-enhancement-pay-what-you.html

And, here's how it works / terms / conditions etc:

 1. It's a maximum of one copy of the CD set per person, if your friend wants a copy, they can go ahead and order it under their own name

 2. All you pay is $14.90 to cover production, shipping and handling anywhere in the world

 3. The special is only on offer until I stop it - or until I run out of CDs (very possible) 

 4. You'll get 2 months to listen to the CDs (it's a 2 week course) and then I'll email you and ask you to pay what you think is fair (RRP $69.95). 

 5. What you decide to pay is completely up to you! 

 6. If you bought Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can on the last special and didn't pay anything, well, unfortunately you can't take advantage of this special

Questions, queries? Email kirsty (at) kirstydunphey.com and ask away. 

Want to know more about the CD set, read reviews, or grab your copy?


By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All the best coaches have coaches


I was chatting with an amazing businesswoman and friend the other day who was going through a particular challenge in her business and who had (humblingly) come to me for some advice.
 
She has a business coach and also seeks out the advice of others that she trusts – and in delving into her current situation it struck me that she saw getting this advice both formal and informal as a sign of weakness.
 
“All the best coaches have coaches” – I told her. I go to people when I need help, I bet your coach has someone, or a whole suite of people they go to when they need help. This simple statement was like a revelation to her. “Really?” she said, dumfounded.
 
She’d always looked at going to people for help as something only people having trouble did. Now ultimately, it’s an obvious choice to go to someone for coaching or advice when you’re having a tough time – but the most successful people (in my experience) have a coach, a mentor, a peer that they will constantly bounce ideas, goals, struggles and issues off.
 
When was the last time you reached out to someone and shared what you were going through?

By Marjorie with 2 comments

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Conference Creativity



A little cheekily this was one of my tweets (@kirstydunphey) from the recent (and fabulous) ARPM (Australiasian Residential Property Management) conference in Sydney.
“Wondering if it’s a conscious decision for @1form_live to “man” trade stand with attractive young men at a conference full of women?


1 Form Live were trade stand exhibitors at the conference and even this happily married woman was having an extended glance at their booth over the conference. I thought it was a smart strategy given that the conference attendees were probably 70% women.

Later in the day I promoted them to the level of geniuses when I noticed that their wi-fi connection had been renamed to this: “1Form – Chris is Single” to me – a brilliant way to leverage off their existing strategy.


Knowing I was going to be compelled to blog about it – I went and got a photo of the 1 Form team to add to the blog and they had a giggle as to why I’d come over. 
But – I am going to downgrade them from genius to just clever. What else could they have done? Well – if your company’s going to have a twitter account and you’re at a conference with a hashtag and people are tweeting  - engage! If someone posts a cheeky tweet about your sales team being hot – REPLY!  Have someone checking twitter during the day and responding and engaging where appropriate.

So many people see twitter as a way to get a message across when really, the true value of it comes from it being a way to communicate. Communication is two ways. You’d rarely ignore a customer talking to your face, why would you ignore a potential customer’s tweet.

Secondly – and disappointingly their wi-fi was renamed to “1 Form Live – come and visit us!” day 2 of the conference… yawn! Ahh well boys – thanks for the memories.

By Marjorie with No comments

Money, money, money....

Well - I'm excited to be sending out three big envelopes tonight containing documentation to donate $10,035 to three fabulous charities.

To read about my head shave motivation head on here: http://blog.kirstydunphey.com/2012/08/can-you-help-me-shave-my-head_8.html

And to see pictures of the "chopping and shaving itself" head on here: http://blog.kirstydunphey.com/2012/08/hair-today-gone-thursday.html




















I'm excited to be sending off my goal amount - plus there's another $621 which has been pledged that hasn't come in yet - so I'm hopeful of sending that off too over the coming weeks.

As promised, I would like to convey my extreme thanks to all of the following people who donated $100 or more, but please know that I am so grateful for everyone from those who donated $5 to those who overwhelmed me with donations of $500.

On the honour role are:

Pam Corkhill, Courtney Hogan, Xavier Wakefield, Simone Hackett, Rob King, Felicity Peterson, Richard Gough, Jodie Pedlar, Shane Wiseman, Steve Jaffray, Karen Pryor, Kate Woods, Ronald Brown, Doug Mallett, Chris Follett, Fletcher Husband, Glen Coutinho, Lisa O'Connor, Tom Woolley, Brock Fisher, Maureen Lacey, Bianca & Matt Barney, Elephant Property, Celine Egan, Dale Beaumont, Mel Kerrison, Shayne Harris, Ron Ward, Dean Mance, Melissa Anderson, Sylvia Smith, Carole Williams, Danelle Wiseman, Krystal Morgan, Susan Connor, Cathryn Cocker & Jacinta Prewer, Catherine Bissett, Edwin Vandervelde, Carrie Hesketh, Sally Shaw, Domenic Carosa, Jen Rayner, Megan Barrow, Faulkner Plumbing, Kaitlyn Abrahall, Peta Simmons and Susan Head.


Thank you thank you thank you to everyone.


xxxx K

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Feedback at the speed of fingers




“Does anyone know a good Masseur / Masseuse in Launceston?” - posted by a friend of mine to facebook this week. Minutes later she had referrals, back up referrals and phone numbers of who to call.

“Can you believe what XYZ property managers let my tenants do to my place” [photo] [photo] [photo] – posted by friends of friends and then shared and shared and shared.

Chris from GASP found a nasty dig at a customer posted on facebook and reposted on numerous hard media sites after yelling after a customer as she left the store: “"Have fun shopping at Supre... I knew you were a joke the minute you walked in".”


We live in a new world where customer dissatisfaction isn’t limited to dining table conversation and where referrals are spread (or not spread) with the greatest of ease amongst your 300 (or 5000) “closest” friends.

It’s both exhilarating and terrifying (see the One Star Review - http://blog.kirstydunphey.com/2011/08/one-star-review.html).

And my favourite feedback frenzy of late, a review of Chris Brown’s new album rating it “no stars ever”. Reposted, shared and liked by at least 20 people on my feed and now by me to 5,000 of you.


By Marjorie with No comments

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hair Today.... Gone Thursday

Well, about a month ago I decided I was going to shave my head for charity. I'd been growing my hair for a few years to donate the hair and thought - why not go one step further and raise some money for some fabulous organisations at the same time. (Read more about the initial inspiration here: http://blog.kirstydunphey.com/2012/08/can-you-help-me-shave-my-head.html).

I set myself the goal to raise $10,000 in a month with the head shave and before I could chicken out I quickly emailed the goal out and put the word out on social media. The first donation I received back was a big one - from Sally who I have the pleasure to work with at Elephant Property. I was delighted that my little Elephant family actually contributed over 10% of the total funds - they're a small group but with very big hearts. From there, I was absolutely amazed at the emails I started to get back. Not just pledges to donate, but people sharing with me their heart felt stories about their experiences with cancer. To say it was emotional doesn't even begin to describe it and my team can tell you I sat my desk near tears reading many of the emails.

In 3 weeks and 1 day from that first email blast out I hit my target of $10,000 with one very lovely family knowing I was so close telling me to make their donation whatever I needed to reach my goal. 4 weeks to the day I started the fundraising journey I set about losing my locks and to following you'll find a video of the big shave as well as the photo trail of what happened on the day.

I'm getting asked three questions now a lot so I'll answer them here:

1. YES - I am still accepting donations (just email me - kirsty (at) elephantproperty.com.au) and hoping to get everyone who has pledged to confirm their donation with me in the next week or so.

2. NO - I am not used to my hair or lack thereof yet! I don't quite recognise myself and it's a real insight to get a feeling of what people who go through this for medical reasons feel. I'm doing my best to rock my new extreme do with confidence, but I will say - it's been an eye opener.

3. YES - my little girl (20 months old now) had no issues recognising me and wasn't at all phased by the big chop, she just wanted to show me the slide she'd been playing on all day, and while she's not keen to touch my head, aside from that all is normal (phew!)

Thank you again to everyone who has supported me during this journey whether it's been by donation, kind word or even hat (Thank you to Marea and Sharon http://www.etsy.com/shop/shazzasknits).

The 4 rather large pony tails will be sent off to Princess Charlotte's Tresses for Princesses Foundation this week and the funds raised for Canteen, Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation and Ovarian Cancer Australia will be sent in September.

Thanks to Jamin and Megan for photos and video and to the fabulous Catherine Cocker of Bladerunner hair for the stylish do!






























By Kirsty Dunphey with 4 comments

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