That’s about the best thing I could hear from a client after I’ve been working with them. I’ve always had the mindset of giving back to others, so when I can share information and opportunities with others to help them succeed, it’s so rewarding. I’m especially passionate about working with people over the age of 45 – they have such great skills and experience that can translate into successful businesses, but often they feel as though they are unemployable.
I spent 20 years myself as a full-time mum after a successful career in human resource management, and when my children had grown up, I realised I hadn’t kept up. I knew I had a lot to offer however, but to get started I needed to teach myself so many new things. I am now in a position to help others who are in the same boat – they don’t have to find their own way like I did. It’s all about respecting others and helping where you can.
I recently started in the role as facilitator for the Your Entrepreneurship Project in Ipswich which offers people access to a program providing events, workshops and one-on-one advice sessions to help them become self-employed.
Ipswich was identified by the federal government as one of 20 sites in Australia where a project like this was needed because of the high levels of unemployment and increasing levels of redundancy.
My own experience means I can really relate to these people and open their eyes to what is possible, and I am good at identifying innovation and opportunity. I have been able to forge a whole new career for myself as a speaker, mentor, facilitator and entrepreneur since 2016, so it shows others that anything is possible. I also run a start-up business called KidsWantu, which helps busy parents identify fun activities to do with their kids.
I have two sons in their early 20s, and they are both innovative and entrepreneurial in their own ways. They are so proud of what I have achieved, and they help me out where they can, from listening to business pitches, to helping build and maintain my website.
I think they have seen what I’ve done in the past few years, and they have a renewed level of respect for me – and so do their friends.
A few years ago I designed a home renovation using a Wacol Army barracks which doubled the size of our house. It was aimed at creating a neighbourhood where the kids and their friends would always feel welcome to hang out, play music, watch movies. We often have big groups of young people in there, and I love it. We want to make sure we do everything possible to keep it in our family forever. I recognise just how fortunate I am to have such a supportive and wonderful family.
I spent half an hour on the treadmill listening to podcasts or playing games, and I come away invigorated and educated – and I’m having fun too. I work seven days a week – until recently it was up to 70 hours a week – and lately I’ve been trying to get some balance back into my life.
My husband and decided to not do any work at all on Australia Day and just watch movies and have nibbles on the deck. It was the first full day off in more than six months. It was good, but I don’t know if we could do it regularly. We work hard; we’re just like that.
Residents in the Ipswich area are invited to access the Your Entrepreneurship Project to see how it can help them forge new careers in self-employment. All comers are welcome.
Embrace change. Don’t be scared of taking chances.
Listen and learn constantly. It doesn’t matter if you are older – you can always still learn new things. And take learning where you find it, whether it from people and through other channels.
We live in the luckiest country in the world – so appreciate the privilege and opportunities that come with that. It’s important to keep things real.