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, February 27, 2014

Flex it up


Once a week we buy lunch for our team. Today I had a gorgeous oven baked fish fillet on a salad with rustic cut chips. Last week a gourmet burger. The week before that burritos. And so forth…. My tummy is rumbling just thinking about my favourite work day of the week.

There are 8 of us, sometimes more and we ask for just one tiny special thing. We order about a week in advance. When we get our lunches (we have them at our weekly meeting) we don’t want to spend a whole heap of time figuring out who’s lunch belongs to who. (I also absentmindedly forget what I’ve ordered 9 times out of 10). And so we ask wherever we get our lunches from to write our names on each order (we provide the names of the person with the order).

You’d think it’d be a simple request right? Not so much. 4/5 places get it right, and we reorder from them typically doing an order once every 6 weeks from the places we love. And for those that can’t find a sharpie? One order – and then we move on.

When we requested names from one place the answer was “yeah – we used to do that, but we can’t anymore”.

I’m all for having systems and ways of doing things that work in your business – but I’m even more for common sense! When should you hold firm and when do you need to flex?

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The power in a letter


An amazing friend’s little boy started kindergarten today. She was, understandably, emotional, excited and overwhelmed.

In watching her little man head to kindergarten – I myself find that I’ve been schooled.

We’ve all had special teachers in our lives. Someone who made something clear that was previously fuzzy, someone who made us see something in ourselves we didn’t know was there, maybe someone who showed us the type of grown up we’d like to become.

A week or so ago, new kindergarten man Xavier received a hand addressed and written letter in the mail from his teacher. It told him about her holidays, asked about his and said how excited she was to have him in her class and it included a home made story book with photos showing him what to expect at kindergarten. 

Sensational, I was already super impressed.

And then today, proud mamma arrives to drop Xavier at school only receive her own hand penned letter from the teacher along with some hand made slice. It was beautifully written acknowledging everything these parents were feeling and made me tear up. It ended with:

“Thank you for entrusting your child to me for the coming school year. I will do my very best every day to be your child’s guide in learning and exploring this bright new world they’ve just stepped into”.

This teacher has made an instant connection with pretty much every child and parent in that class by doing something both unexpected and very kind yet not particularly costly or unwieldy.  

This teacher is totally making me re-think some of our customer service initiatives in house to try and replicate the instant emotion and rapport she was able to generate. I hope I’m able to do that, but more so, I hope my two girls are lucky enough to have a teacher like this in their lives!

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Finite


"Finite" is my key word for this month.

You see, I used to believe that my possibilities were infinite. I could do or be anything I wanted. I could work on as many different projects as I wanted. I could travel as far and wide as I wanted.

These days, I think it’s since having children, some things are now finite for me (whether I want to admit it or not).  It’s been a three-year adjustment process and I’m still learning to cope with it.

Prior to children if I wanted to set out on an overseas trip on a day’s notice, or start three new business ventures in a month it would push me, but it was totally do-able.

Now – my life is less about infinite possibilities and more about determining what the highest priority items are that I can fit into my finite space, finite time, finite mindspace.

It’s about learning to say no to things - which I find hard. I’m a person who likes to say yes. But in saying yes over the past couple of months I tried to be and do too much and it didn’t work.

My brain went into overwhelm and something had to give. For a little while it was my sanity.

So this month I focus on finite. Doing and being the best at a finite number of things instead of being mediocre at too many. I shall, I guess, continue to be a work in progress. 

By Kirsty Dunphey with 3 comments

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Inspiration comes in the most unlikely of places


I'd like to thank the pre-teen series of books called "The Babysitters Club" for helping me become the entrepreneur I am today. 

For those of you not a female approximately my age, let me give you a quick rundown on the books. Basically 5 young friends start a business babysitting the kids in their local area. They market, they service clients, they come up with initiatives, they manage junior staff later on down the track. Basically they run the whole gamut of being an entrepreneur and all before they turn 15.

It may not sound too riveting, but as I discovered in a catch up with girlfriends the other day (where every one of us was obsessed with the books) this colourful collection of pre-teen tomes was like heroin to us twenty plus years ago.

While our adult selves might more closely relate (or at least wish we did) to a Carrie or a Charlotte (a'la Sex and the City), our pre-teen selves all had a corresponding character in the Babysitters Club. For those of you familiar with the books you won't find it surprising that everyone immediately pegged me as a "Kristy". She's the creator, the president, the loud and bossy one. Hrmm, ok, it's a fairly close approximation. 

But Kristy taught me just as much as some of my favourite business biographies have. She taught me the challenges in managing a team, how to systemise, the importance of structure and order. And what's more, she opened my mind to the fact that running a business was possible at a young age. 

Now Kristy and her gaggle of friends might be nothing more than words on a paper, but they helped spark something in me. Something aspirational and something that inspired action in me.

It makes me so thankful as a Mum that my girls (3 years and 8 months) already both love to read. Who knows, they might read the Baby sitters club when they're older and be inspired by Claudia to be an artist instead of following my route! I don't mind - inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places - if you're open to it. 










By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

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