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)...

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

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The power in a perspective change


I was in a Country Road store recently and the following rack of clothes caught my attention.



Rather than call these clothes a “sales” rack or discount them heavily they referred to them in a positive light. These are the “last of the best sellers”. To me that made this rack go from bargain basement, to a far more enticing proposition instantly.

What words are you using in your business that might have a negative connotation? “Sorry” “Unfortunately” “Sale” “Bargain” “Discounted” “Economic Downturn”. Could a simple perspective shift like the “last of the best sellers” rephrase any of them in a positive light?

Those of you who work in a retail environment will know how frustrating it can be keeping your shopfront clean and neat during autumn with the wind sweeping leaves in and out open doors. This fabulous florist I recently passed had taken leaves in the shop to a whole different place. Their front window was decorated with leaves, their floor was covered in Autumn leaves and it was nothing short of SPECTACULAR.

A negative, turned into a gorgeous show case. Inspiring stuff. What negative can you make into something stunning today?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, August 16, 2012

You're as cold as ice

10.00am was when the sales person was meant to show up. We were excited to see her, my business colleague had given her a good wrap, her follow up emails prior to the meeting were great, we were excited to know more about her product.

10.05.
10.10
10.15
10.20 – still no salesperson.

Our mood had shifted. We were impatient. We had other appointments.

10.25am and the sales person breezed in our door. Everything would be ok we though, she would apologize, say her flight had been delayed, apologize for not calling the instant she got off the plane.

We waited with anticipation for the apology… that never came.

The salesperson simply ignored the fact that she was nearly half an hour late to the appointment. And with every minute she ignored it, the room and the reception got colder and colder.

I’m crazy about being on time and did have another appointment to get to at 11 so I was of course peeved. But the most interesting thing about the whole situation to me was the reaction of my business colleague. Now if I say this lovely lady is canned sunshine, I wouldn’t be over stepping the grounds. I’ve recounted the fact that she didn’t smile at the salesperson and wasn’t her usual warm self to others in the office and they flat out don’t believe me!

But failing to acknowledge her lateness with an apology that, I predict, would have smoothed over the waters almost completely had such a profound impact on my incredibly friendly colleague and friend that even she couldn’t help but be “as cold as ice”.

We all mess things up. We’re human. But I do wonder how different this meeting would have been if the salesperson had called from the airport, or apologized the instant she walked through the door.

Until then…. She turned my bucket of sunshine into a bucket of ice (but thankfully, she thawed about 4.5 seconds after the meeting).

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Can you help me shave my head?

Hi and thanks for taking 5 minutes from your day to read below,

As many of you would know, for the last few years I've been growing my hair in order to get it long enough (35cm) to donate to the Princess Charlotte Alopecia Foundation's Tresses for Princesses (http://www.princesscharlottealopecia.com/TressesforPrincesses.aspx).

Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that results in the total loss of hair. While not life threatening, alopecia can have a devastating psychological effect on its victims, as they struggle with the pain of feeling “different.” Tresses for Princesses sells hair that's donated and uses the funds to buy medical wigs for little girls who are suffering from alopecia. I have both a friend and a relative who have alopecia and I've been excited to do this for some years now. This gorgeous picture below is of two sisters where one has been growing her hair to make a wig for her sister.


But - in the past couple of days I've sucked up the courage with thanks to words of wisdom from my fabulous cousin Kate and a very inspiring friend Kylie who have both shaved their heads to completely go the full shave in efforts to fundraise for some very worthy charities.

My goal - to raise $10,000 total to be split amongst the following three charities:
http://www.ovariancancer.net.au/ - Ovarian Cancer
http://www.canteen.org.au/ - CanTeen
http://accf.org.au/ - Cervical Cancer


So - here's what I'm asking, and I hope you can email me back and let me know if you're prepared to make a pledge for a donation.

- Any donation will get a tax invoice from the oganisation and be fully tax deductible
- Any donation over $50 and you can specify which of the above three organisations you want your donation to go to (otherwise I'll just split the funds evenly)

- If you make a donation of $100 or more, I'll send you a copy of my book to say thank you - http://blog.kirstydunphey.com/p/retired-at-27-if-i-can-do-it-anyone-can.html and I'll list your details in a blog post on all of this on my website as a thank you
- If you make a donation of $500 or more, I'll forward it on to any cancer related charity of your choice - and again organise you a tax invoice
- If you donate $1000 or more you can come and chop off one my pony tails (I have a LOT of hair!)


My promises:

- Once I raise $10,000 I will swallow the considerable pride I have in having long thick hair and the part of the identity that's linked to that and will shave my head
- I won't ask you to donate anything until I get the $10,000 raised - all I want you to do is pledge your donation until then
- I'll video my little head shave and share it with you all


Below pic (courtesy of Alan Moyle) is what my hair is like now (ish - perhaps not as glam!) and I promise to get some happy snaps of me with my bald (and no doubt cold!) head once I've gone the big shave.

Now if you're happy to pledge some funds justemail kirsty (at) kirstydunphey.com and let me know what you would like to donate.

Oh yeah - my goal is to raise the funds in a month? Eep - let's see how I go.

Thanks for your time and support and, if you think it's appropriate, for forwarding this email on.




By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, August 3, 2012

What would you pay if you didn’t have to pay anything?


I ran a bit of an experiment in late October last year. I offered people a chance to get a physical copy of my book – Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can for nothing (virtually – there was a postage and handling cost of $5 in Australia, $10.00 world wide). The only catch was that they were to read the book within a month and then pay “whatever they thought it was worth”.

I was inspired by a very cool online t-shirt company http://hipstery.com/ who ran a similar promo last year. I bought one of their t-shirts (a mystery one) and then paid what I thought it was worth.

Results of my own experiment were mixed.

About half the people who bought the book paid “what they thought it was worth”. I was pretty delighted to see that the average sale was actually $24.67 (the retail price for the book is $24.95). We had numerous people pay $40, one even paid $50 (which was quiet surprising given that his book got “lost” in the mail and he paid this before he even received it) a bunch pay retail and the lowest price paid was $10.

However, not overly surprisingly over half the people who said they’d pay what they thought it was worth paid nothing. Most disappointingly I had a couple of people request via email numerous copies at this price and also pay nothing – those ones stung, I’ll admit that.

Keeping in mind that I wanted to write a blog post about the experience I emailed everyone who paid nothing and asked them one simple question – why did they make that choice? Was it that they thought the book was worth nothing (no-one said this was the case), was it that they had forgotten (a couple said yes and promptly paid) or was it another reason?

To me this was the most interesting part. I only got replies from perhaps 10% of the people who didn’t pay. Some confessed to laziness, others stated they weren’t paying until they read the book, others had said that life had gotten on top of them.

One very earnest lady contacted me 8 months after the special to say that she’d finally read the book and it was actually a really cool email to read. She gave me some feedback on the cover image, which I totally agree with and she wrote this:

“Retired at 27 is easily the best business book I've read to date, made especially so because it is written by someone with credibility, which you establish right up-front, and also because it gives practical advice than anyone can follow and addresses a number of issues that other books skim over or completely miss… I think your book is worth $40. I haven't paid more than $35 for a business book (in fact many, like the E-Myth Revisited, 7 Habits, How to Win Friends etc I have bought second-hand) so I figure if yours is the best, it should be worth the most.”

What have I learned from the lesson? Well, it’s been an interesting mix of both restoring my faith in humans (in an era where it’s so very easy to get so much for nothing) and it’s also taken away from that a bit. All said, the positive has outweighed the negative. Those who read the book and enjoyed it and sent me emails like the above have no idea how much that brightens my day. For those of you who didn’t contact me (or pay!) I do hope you got something from the read, or passed it on to someone who did.

By Marjorie with No comments

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Can you help me shave my head?


Hi and thanks for taking 5 minutes from your day to read below, Some of you would know that for the last few years I've been growing my hair in order to get it long enough (35cm) to donate to the Princess Charlotte Alopecia Foundation's Tresses for Princesses (http://www.princesscharlottealopecia.com/TressesforPrincesses.aspx). 

Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that results in the total loss of hair. While not life threatening, alopecia can have a devastating psychological effect on its victims, as they struggle with the pain of feeling “different.” Tresses for Princesses sells hair that's donated and uses the funds to buy medical wigs for little girls who are suffering from alopecia. I have both a friend and a relative who have alopecia and I've been excited to do this for some years now. This gorgeous picture below is of two sisters where one has been growing her hair to make a wig for her sister.


But - in the past couple of days I've sucked up the courage with thanks to words of wisdom from my fabulous cousin Kate and a very inspiring friend Kylie who have both shaved their heads to completely go the full shave in efforts to fundraise for some very worthy charities. My goal - to raise $10,000 total to be split amongst the following three charities:



So - here's what I'm asking, and I hope you can email me and let me know if you're prepared to make a pledge for a donation. 
  •  Any donation will get a tax invoice from the oganisation and be fully tax deductible
  •  Any donation over $50 and you can specify which of the above three organisations you want your donation to go to (otherwise I'll just split the funds evenly)
  •  If you make a donation of $100 or more, I'll send you a copy of my book to say thank you - http://blog.kirstydunphey.com/p/retired-at-27-if-i-can-do-it-anyone-can.html and I'll list your details in a blog post on all of this on my website as a thank you
  •  If you make a donation of $500 or more, I'll forward it on to any cancer related charity of your choice - and again organise you a tax invoice
  •  If you donate $1000 or more you can come and chop off one my pony tails (I have a LOT of hair!)
My promises:
  •  Once I raise $10,000 I will swallow the considerable pride I have in having long thick hair and the part of the identity that's linked to that and will shave my head
  •  I won't ask you to donate anything until I get the $10,000 raised - all I want you to do is pledge your donation until then
  •  I'll video my little head shave and share it with you all 


The below pic (courtesy of Alan Moyle) is what my hair is like now (ish - perhaps not as glam!) and I promise to get some happy snaps of me with my bald (and no doubt cold!) head once I've gone the big shave. 




Now if you're happy to pledge some funds just email me kirsty [at] kirstydunphey.com and let me know what you would like to donate. 

Oh yeah - my goal is to raise the funds in a month? Eep - let's see how I go. 

Thanks for your time and support and, if you think it's appropriate, for sharing this blog with your networks.


scared and excited,


Kirsty 


By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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