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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, 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

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