Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Favourite Five Customer Comments for this week...

"Just to let you know that the clock was a huge success - he loved it. So much so that it will not be hung on the wall in his office he is going to put it 'somewhere more important'. Thanks to you and Mr Gift. No doubt I will be using your site again." Pam, SA

"Thanks very much.. fast and great service!" Paul, WA

"I am more than happy with the prompt service, delivery and communication from you regarding my order. I would definitely use your business again." Marcia, NSW


Image from www.driving-instructor-sites.com 


"I am rating your product 5/5, and your service as a 5/5 – response times to email communication and the manner in which they were handled was very impressive, I will be sure to use your services again and would recommend anyone else to do the same." Gillian, N.S.W

"Great fast service, received item in excellent condition within less than a week. Will continue to shop with you!" Joshua, VIC

Read more feedback here...

What was the last gift that you bought that was a hit?

Monday, 24 March 2014

What are the best gifts for gardeners?

Five reasons why you need an Urban Composter:
1. It's compact - this compost system is designed to fit in the smallest of spaces - perfect for the kitchen bench or apartments with limited garden space.

2. It creates compost quickly, without any smell - the accelerating solution that comes with the starter kit will speed up the composting process, whilst eliminating smells.

3. It's easy to use - simply throw, spray, drain and dig

4. The Urban Composter will also create a nutrient-rich liquid fertiliser (in addition to the compost to top dress your garden or pot plants).

5. It's better for the environment - composting organic waste means that less rubbish is sent to landfill (and your household bin won't smell as bad!) 
GET ONE NOW
10% OFF all Garden products purchased from Sunday 23/3/2014 until midnight Sunday 30/3/2014. 

Use Coupon Code GARDEN in the Coupon Code field when you place your order.  
 
Here are 5 of our other favourite garden gifts...
SHOP GARDEN GIFTS
1. Water from a Stone Plant Waterer (pair) $24.95
The easiest way to water your plants when you go on holidays
2. BIGrootcup $29.95
An attractive, easy way to strike cuttings at home.
 
3. Secateurs $39.95
A high-quality pair of Secateurs that will take care of most garden pruning - an essential tool for every gardener. 
 
4. Slate Plant Labels, set of 4 $19.95
Australian-made reusable slate labels that will help you keep a track of what you've plantedwhere. 
5. Nutscene Leaf Composting Sacks, set of 2
Take control of all those autumn leaves by turning them into handy compost

With the hottest summer days behind us, March is a great time to get back out in the garden and get ready for the cold winter days ahead. With the help of some gardening expert friends, we’ve put together an autumn gardening “To Do” list to keep you on track. Read more...
What's New:

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Autumn Gardening Checklist: what jobs to do in the garden this month

With the hottest summer days behind us, March is a great time to get back out in the garden and get ready for the cold winter days ahead. With the help of some gardening expert friends, we’ve put together an autumn gardening “To Do” list to keep you on track:


1. Plan, plan, plan
 
Maria Ciavarella from My Green Garden advises that “On a day when you have a little more time, take out your stored seeds or catalogues and decide what you want to grow again. Some seeds should be sown directly in-ground, whereas others can be sown in punnets or your own biodegradable newspaper pots (egg cartons also work well too!), to get ready to put in your (to be) freshly nourished and rejuvenated soil. Not only will you save money from buying over-priced and pot bound seedlings, you have the choice of a myriad of seeds not usually sold as seedlings. And then there are the pantry staples, like garlic and shallots that are always better home grown.” (source: www.myhomeharvest.com.au)

Maria recommends carrying out these simple tasks now before the soil cools down in April.

http://www.mygreengarden.com.au
 
 
 
2. Compost and prepare your soil

When the last of your summer crop has withered away, show your soil some love by enriching it with some compost and/or manure to replenish the nutrients that have been stripped from it over summer. That way, your soil will be ready to go when you’re ready to sow your seeds directly into the ground, or plant out the seedlings you have grown. 

Fabian Capomolla and Mat Pember from The Little Veggie Patch Co also recommend “Where you have planted tall, nitrogen hungry crops such as tomatoes and corn you should replenish by growing peas and/or broad beans through the cooler months…Spaces that have grown beans will be pumped full of nitrogen, ready for any of the brassicas – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc – to deplete.”
 
3. What to plant – check out the below lists (by region) of what to plant now and throughout autumn:
 
http://www.mrgift.com.au/the-little-veggie-patch-co/detroit-beetroot-seeds
 


Cool/mountainous:
  • Beetroot (seed)
  • Broad Beans (seedling)
  • Broccoli (seed tray)
  • Brussel Sprouts (seed tray)
  • Bok Choi/Pak Choi (seedling)
  • Carrot (seed)
  • Cabbage (seed tray)
  • Cauliflower (seed tray)
  • Celery (seedling)
  • Fennel (seedling)
  • Garlic (bulbs)
  • Herbs (all except basil) (seedling)
  • Kale (seedling)
  • Lettuce (seedling)
  • Parsnip (seed tray)
  • Peas (seed)
  • Rocket (seedling)
  • Radish (seed)
  • Silverbeet (seedling)
  • Spinach (seedling)
  • Spring onion (seedling)
  • Turnip (seed tray)
  • Strawberry (seedling)
  • Swede (seed tray)
Temperate
  • Beetroot (seed)
  • Broad Beans (seed)
  • Broccoli (seed tray)
  • Brussel Sprouts (seed tray)
  • Bok Choi/Pak Choi (seedling)
  • Carrot (seed)
  • Cabbage (seed tray)
  • Cauliflower (seed tray)
  • Celery (seedling)
  • Fennel (seedling)
  • Garlic (bulbs)
  • Herbs (all except basil) (seedling)
  • Kale (seedling)
  • Lettuce (seedling)
  • Parsnip (seed tray)
  • Peas (seed)
  • Rocket (seedling)
  • Radish (seed)
  • Silverbeet (seedling)
  • Spinach (seedling)
  • Spring onion (seedling)
  • Turnip (seed tray)
  • Strawberry (seedling)
  • Swede (seed tray)
http://www.mrgift.com.au/the-little-veggie-patch-co/swiss-chard-seeds


Sub Tropical:
  • Beetroot (seed)
  • Broad Beans (seed tray)
  • Broccoli (seedling)
  • Bok Choi/Pak Choi (seed)
  • Carrot (seed tray)
  • Cabbage (seedling)
  • Capsicum (seed tray)
  • Cauliflower (seedling)
  • Celery (seedling)
  • Chilli (seedling)
  • Cucumber (seedling)
  • Eggplant (seedling)
  • Herbs (all) (seedling)
  • Kale (seedling)
  • Lettuce (seedling)
  • Pumpkin (seedling)
  • Rocket (seedling)
  • Radish (seed)
  • Peas (seed)
  • Silverbeet (seedling)
  • Spinach (seedling)
  • Spring onion (seedling)
  • Squash (seedling)
  • Strawberry (seedling)
  • Zucchini (seedling)
  • Squash (seedling)
  • Strawberry (seedling)
  • Sweet corn (seedling)
  • Zucchini (seedling)
http://www.mrgift.com.au/the-little-veggie-patch-co/wonder-sweet-bell-capsicum-seeds
     
 Tropical
  • Beetroot (seedling)
  • Bok Choi/Pak Choi (seed)
  • Carrot (seedling)
  • Capsicum (seed)
  • Celery (seedling)
  • Chilli (seedling)
  • Cucumber (seedling)
  • Eggplant (seedling)
  • Herbs (all except basil)
  • Lettuce (seedling)
  • Pumpkin (seedling)
  • Rocket (seedling)
  • Radish (seedling)
  • Silverbeet (seed)
  • Spinach (seedling)
  • Spring onion (seedling)
  • Squash (seedling)
  • Strawberry (seedling)
  • Zucchini (seedling)
http://www.mrgift.com.au/the-little-veggie-patch-co/bloomsdale-spinach-seeds


 4. What to harvest

Are you growing any of the below plants? If so, now is the time to be rewarded for all of your hard work:
 
  • Beetroot
  • Chives – “Harvest from the outer part of the plant using scissors or sharp, nails of death. This is the time of the year chive plants produce most seed heads and these are worth their weight in gold for the delicious purple flowers,” say The Little Veggie Patch Co guys.
  • Chilli
  • Cucumber
  • Pumpkin – When trying to work out if your pumpkin is ripe, “Colour is usually the best indicator of readiness; you can also tap the fruit and listen - a hollow sound is another indicator that it is time to harvest. When harvesting make sure to cut an inch or two up the tough vine so that it keeps,” advise The Little Veggie Patch Co guys.
  • Spring Onions
  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomato
  • Violas
  • Zucchini – Don’t leave zucchinis on the vine for too long. Picking them before they mature too much ensures that they don’t become tough and tasteless, and regular picking encourages more fruit. To pick, use either a small knife to cut the fruit from at the stem, or pull the zucchini back on itself so it breaks free cleanly, say The Little Veggie Patch Co guys.
http://www.mrgift.com.au/the-little-veggie-patch-co/tommy-toe-tomato-seeds
     
5. Love your lawn!
 
Anthony Muscat, Turf Australia President says that the cooler months of autumn are the perfect time to give your lawn a little TLC. “It’s an ideal time to treat your lawn to a ‘detox’, when the sun isn’t as harsh and there’s less garden activity.”
 
Follow these few easy steps and you’ll be on your way to a luscious lawn when the warmer months come around again…
 
1. Mow it at the right height
Keep your lawn a bit longer during the winter months by lifting your mower up a notch, from 50-60mm to about 60mm. Turf isn’t required to be mown as often in the cooler months, and decreasing the frequency of mowing will keep it thick and healthy, and free of weeds.

 
 
 
2. Fertilise it at the right time
A monthly dose of fertiliser throughout autumn (March-May) will thicken up your lawn and help turf struggle less in winter. Anthony recommends liquid fertilisers, as well as spray-on frost protection to strengthen the roots of your turf.

 
 
 
3. Check your soil conditions
Check the pH level of your soil using a simple pH test kit available from garden centres or hardware stores. Lawns prefer a slightly acidic or neutral soil – the ideal range is 6.5 to 7. If the results are less than 6.5, consult your local expert on solutions such as garden lime and dolomite. 
 
4. Drain it
Check that your lawn has good drainage to prevent water logging during excess periods of rain.
 
5. Water it
Although you don’t need to water your lawn as frequently in winter, it’s still important to offer some water during the cooler months – once every two weeks for drier gardens is ideal. Focus on watering deeply and early in the morning. 

 
 
 
6. Aerate your lawn
It’s important to let oxygen in around the roots of your lawn by opening up the soil. “Aerate” your lawn by working a pitchfork into the soil a few centimetres to leave small holes where water and fertiliser can penetrate the lawn roots. Aerating only needs to be done once in winter and summer for a healthy lawn.

 
 
 
7. Make it over
If all else fails, the cooler months are a great time to consider replacing your lawn so it’s ready to go for spring. Do some research and consult a professional to consider factors such as climate, usage and budget.
 
Thanks to our gardening experts for their tips and advice:
 
Maria Ciavarella, My Green Garden – Maria’s Italian background has exposed her to the joy of growing and preserving your own food in harmony with the seasons. Using her experience in teaching and the nursery industry, Maria loves sharing her knowledge and passion for home-grown produce with others through her business, My Green Garden. www.mygreengarden.com.au
 
Natasha Kuperman, My Home Harvestwww.myhomeharvest.com.au is a website inspiring, encouraging and supporting the urban food gardeners of Australia. Founded by Natasha Kuperman in January 2012, My Home Harvest has evolved into a comprehensive online resource that includes inspiring articles, projects and profiles that encourage visitors to engage and share their own experiences with this friendly online community.
 
Anthony Muscat, Turf Australia - Turf Australia is the representative body of the turf industry comprising more than 200 levy paying turf producers and individual members Australia wide. Turf Australia’s aim is to develop and foster the advancement and profitability of a sustainable natural turf grass industry. Turf Australia is committed to the environmentally responsible production, installation and maintenance of turf glass through training, information and development programs. For more information on how to get the most out of your turf or visit www.turfaustralia.com.au or find them on Facebook
 
Fabian Capamolla and Mat Pember, The Little Veggie Patch Co – The concept for The Little Veggie Patch Co (LVPC) was originally conceived in 2008 by Matthew Pember, who was joined by Fabian Capomolla in 2009. The duo is passionate about seeing “more people living a greener lifestyle – growing their own vegetables”. The boys both have an Italian heritage, which probably explains the importance they place on food – and not just any food, but the freshest food they can grow. “We grew up being centred with food as part of our life. We always had the back garden full of veggies and fresh food coming from the back garden, so it’s a way of life,” says Fabian. Check out The Little Veggie Patch Co products here

What are your favourite jobs to do in the garden?
 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Inspiring Women: Sally Symonds, weight loss coach and author

Sally Symonds is one of Australia’s leading fitness experts: she’s a healthy life mentor, author of several weight loss books and the creator of Love Your Weight Loss, a unique online weight loss coaching system. But 12 years ago, her life was very different...

1. Tell us your story:

I'm from a cattle property in Mackay, and after finishing school and university, where I achieved a BA (Honours) in English Literature, I became a Speech and Drama teacher. I was very good at my job, but my health began to suffer. I worked over 100 hours a week, hated exercise and ate a family-sized block of chocolate every day. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure at just 29.

Eventually, I realised something had to give, so I threw out the junk food and started walking my dog instead of paying someone else to do it! Ultimately, I lost over 50 kilos - more than half my body weight - without using any plans or programs.

I genuinely enjoyed the experience, so I wrote a book (50 Steps to Lose 50 kg...And Keep it Off) and took the plunge to change careers, quickly establishing myself as one of Australia's leading fitness experts according to Good Health magazine. Now, I'm a healthy life mentor who gets to spend every day helping others achieve what I did: healthy, sustainable weight loss.

2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?

Losing weight made me realise that all the stuff we're fed by the media about weight loss - follow this diet or that 12-week program - just sets you up to fail. I'm living proof that all you need to lose weight and keep it off is the right mindset and motivation!

3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan an d a deadline to achieve your goals?

I don't believe in setting goals, because I think they limit what you can achieve. I didn't set any goals when I lost weight, and if I had, I would never have imagined I'd be capable of losing as much as I did. You don't know what you're capable of, so why place constraints on yourself?

https://www.sallysymonds.com.au/love-your-weight-loss
 
Sally Symonds, healthy life mentor, author of several weight loss books and the creator of Love Your Weight Loss


4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?

When I was losing weight myself, walking into a gym for the first time by myself was one of the hardest things I'd ever done: a more anti-exercise, anti-gym person than me you could never have met!

5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?

I love that my own weight loss experience has inspired so many others. It's something that really keeps me motivated and it's a big part of why I love what I do.

6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?

First of all, don't set a goal! Stay motivated and see just how far you can go. You'll surprise yourself.

7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve?

I hope to be able to keep inspiring others and helping them achieve their healthy living aims; more importantly, I want to show people that what the media tells them about weight loss (it's difficult, it's impossible, it's tedious) is so far from reality.


Check out Sally's website for more details: www.sallysymonds.com.au.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Inspiring Women: EJ Love, Intuitive Life Coach

EJ Love has achieved so much in the last year. Not only has she conquered her own personal battles with an eating disorder and damaging relationships, she has also used her experiences to help others...

1. Tell us your story:

One year ago I had a 10-year-long eating disorder, was in and out of abusive or sabotaged relationships, had a sex/swinging addiction, was a smoker and binge drinker. Although on the outside many people thought I had a very exciting and happy lifestyle, on the inside there was a lot of shame and feelings of worthlessness and my confidence on the outside was just a facade. After going through a spiritual awakening a year ago almost to this day I started my healing and self-love journey. I am now an Intuitive Life Coach & Motivational Speaker, Angel Therapist/Psychic, Healer, Charity Event Organiser & Author. Founder of Love Angels Global -
www.facebook.com/LoveAngelsGlobal and the charity Kieron D'Netto Spinal Injury Support & Healing Kieron to Walk Again Project.

2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?
I had always known since I entered the workforce that I wanted to be some sort of Mentor/Coach/Speaker. I've always had a passion for helping people and being on stage! Often I felt it was in business that I would help people as I had worked in so many different businesses and helped them grow. But when I went through my own personal transformation I knew that my purpose was to help other women awaken. I call it 'Awakening the Beautiful Woman Within'. When I get the feedback from my clients that I have inspired them, transformed their lives and touched their hearts that makes me feel so happy and so alive and I know I am living my purpose and achieving my goals as well as helping them achieve theirs!

3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals?
I have to say planning and time management had never been a strong point for me. I was always so up in the air because I am extremely creative and driven and kept taking more and more opportunities on. After taking on a business mentor I really got clear on where I was going and how I was going to achieve it. We focused on keeping myself grounded to make sure I could plan out my time effectively and only take on the opportunities that were in my best interests. Within in a matter of weeks I had set myself up as 'EJ Love Angel' and brought my story, skills and expertise together so that I could reach out and help more people.

www.facebook.com/LoveAngelsGlobal

EJ Love, Intuitive Life Coach & Motivational Speaker, Angel Therapist/Psychic, Healer, Charity Event Organiser & Author. Founder of Love Angels Global - www.facebook.com/LoveAngelsGlobal

4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?
Distractions and saying 'No' to people. I am a real softie and giver and always willing to help others!

5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?

I see every obstacle is an opportunity! I reassess what my priorities are and understand that everything happens for a reason. There is a lesson that I can grown from and use as a positive story to help others...Sometimes I do need to take some time out for me and do an hour planning session.


6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?
Firstly make sure it aligns with who you are and your purpose. You have to find out what your 'why' is and you will know it when it makes you cry! When I got mine I was jumping up and down and crying tears of joy. When you feel this strongly about something you will do everything you can to make it happen. I say to people it's like that feeling when you fall in love and you just want to do everything you can to be with that person - treat your goal the same way and you will achieve it! When you do achieve it make sure you celebrate it!!

7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve?
My next step is to write a best-selling book about my journey and transformation. I'll shortly be launching online programs and workshops/retreats and have many other business women who want to partner with me. I feel very blessed to be where I am today... it all starts with self-love and it is absolutely possible for everyone!

Check out EJ's facebook page, as well as the Love Angels Global website, www.LoveAngelsGlobal.com and Love Angels Global facebook page for more details.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Favourite Five Customer Comments for this week...

Each week we'll continue to post some of the lovely comments we received from our customers. Here are five of our favourite comments for this week:

1. "Thank you so much for the great service! I just received the package and it just looks great! I will definitely recommend your website to all my friends and relatives." Lisanne, Netherlands

2. "I found your service fantastic. My parcel arrived promptly (even though it was close to Christmas) and in good condition. Loved the hand written note and my kids loved the lollies." Tracy, VIC

3. "Very happy with the service offered. Gifts arrived promptly and were as good as we had hoped - 5 out of 5." David, SA

 
Image from www.grover.com.au


4. "The items I ordered from Mr Gift for Christmas presents were all greatly enjoyed by recipients. It has been a pleasure doing business with you and I will certainly look to use Mr Gift in the future." Kath, VIC

5. "Wonderful customer service from you guys :) The gift was for my husband and his feedback on it is 'its awesome I love it!'" Leanne, Qld

Read more feedback here...

Who have you received great customer service from this week?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Inspiring Women: Mia McCarthy, founder of Yummia

Mia McCarthy is an excellent example of a woman who started on one pathway (studying BA Dip Ed Primary), but ended up on another after discovering a gap in the market. Mia jumped on the opportunity to fill this gap and embarked on her entrepreneurial journey...




1. Tell us your story:

During my final year of university (age 22, studying BA Dip Ed Primary) I saw a gap in the market for a ready-to-go bircher muesli products available in the retail environment. I then went about testing this concept on family and friends. 

Once I saw there was a gap I started trying to gain some market traction in my local area. From there the company grew to a a small commercial kitchen where all the products were still being made and packed by hand. The response to Yummia was overwhelming and I knew for this product to work we had to transform the manufacturing process to a more scalable model. 

In 2013 I partnered with a large manufacturing factory in Victoria. From here we have been able to achieve a higher quality product, consistence and shelf-life, as well as having the infrastructure to produce large batches at a time and machine pack the product. We are now a supplier for leading retailers such as Woolworths small format stores, as well as independent grocers, cafe's, restaurants etc. in both the retail and food-service environment.

I’m personally based in Sydney and production is based in Victoria. I travel back and forwards between the two depending where I’m needed. We are in the process of expanding distribution channels both nationally and internationally so at the moment there is a bit of travel involved. 

2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?

I never really sat down and set out any goals, although lots of them have happened incrementally. At first the goal was get the product stocked in a few shops. Once you achieve a goal it’s easier to reach for the next one, so the goals we look to achieve are all in response to current circumstances and opportunities presenting themselves at any given time. It’s much easier to move forwards when you look at the little goals along the way rather than the big picture.  

3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals?  

I work best with lots of little goals, not necessarily one big goal. So different goals will require different a deadline and skill set. Although depending on the goal I’m working on I do need to plan and be organized to work to achieve that. For example at the moment we’re launching two new products. So I need work backwards from launch date. The most important thing with Yummia is shelf life, so once this testing comes through we can then work to the goal of organizing packaging for print, generating new sales, accounting and inventory that is associated with a new product and once this is all planned we can establish a launch date. 





4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?

There have been so many. One of the biggest was the commercialization process of essentially a hand made product into a factory. I learnt so much during this process - both about product and also personally about problem solving and never giving up to seeking a solution to push forward. It was really testing although luckily we achieved the goal and now have a great product as a result. 

5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?

At the moment I don’t want to be doing anything else. I’ve found something I’m really passionate about and love working on a product that is so close to me, so until I lose this drive I’m inspired to make it work.

I also have a bit of a guilt complex about Yummia, there have been so many people who have helped and supported me along the way that I guess I am more afraid of failure and letting others down than I am with achieving success. 




6.  What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?

Never have one ultimate goal. If you have lots of little goals along the way they are easier to achieve and more encouraging to keep going. I try to compartmentalize every aspect at Yummia, so there are lots of different goals to achieve, which keeps it fun and interesting. 

7.  What are the next goals you hope to achieve?

Consolidating business growth and establishing Yummia as a household brand and product that is part of daily or weekly consumer habits. 

Check out www.yummia.com.au for more info on Mia and her brand...

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Inspiring Women: Cheryl Daley, author of LIPSTICK & LEADERSHIP

After being made redundant from a senior role last year, Cheryl Daley was forced to rethink the direction of her career. Motivated by her passion for helping others, Cheryl quickly turned a challenging situation into a positive one, and achieved some unexpected goals along the way...

1. Tell us your story:

I currently reside in Brisbane and am the author of soon to be released book LIPSTICK & LEADERSHIP. I was made redundant from a senior executive leadership role in January last year. Having spent over 25 years as a leader in various organisations, all with predominant male work environments, I knew I could help leaders be the best they could be by tapping into their inherent skills and behaviours. I launched leadershipheadquarters.com - it is only through balance that we achieve success. Organisational Development, Team Dynamics and Empowering Women Leaders are my passion.


Image from www.xybodytreatments.com.au


2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve? 

I have always liked to help people identify their strengths and leverage those strengths for greater achievement and success. My goal was twofold: on one hand it was about building a business; on the other hand it was refining the process and distilling the information so that I could connect with as many women as possible and help them be A Savvy & Influential Leader, in an authentic and natural way.


3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals? 

It was a priority to get moving - I was unemployed!!! So there was definitely a plan to get on track. It was really about doing a stocktake of what I needed to do and to connect with people who could help me develop and grow. Women are natural connectors and we like the sense of community (one of the great skills we bring to leadership). After I worked out what I needed to do, I then set out about connecting and getting on with the task


Image from www.networlding.com 



4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way? 

Overcoming the feelings of being "dumped". An unexpected redundancy or change and set back of any type really, makes you stop and think about the value you add and where you can improve or what you have to change. Women are very resourceful and fantastic at coming up with workable concepts (this makes us great with strategy). Reinvention became the way in which to deal with those challenges.


5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles? 

I know there are women out there who struggle with the glass ceiling, or the guilt of being a working mum, or the frustration with not being recognised for the value we bring to an organisation, and sometimes the anger for not being rewarded for our efforts. While this still exists, I am inspired to keep spreading the word to women on how to do it differently - to get the recognition, success and reward they deserve AND to help men in business understand the talent pool and the amazing benefits that women bring to their team. A balanced team drawing on the correct team dynamics is what sets extraordinary organisations apart from the ordinary.


Image from www.mindsetdaily.com 



6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal? 

You have to be clear in your mind about what the driving force is behind why you want to achieve the goal. It is not enough to just be warm about something - you have to be hot for it. I thought it was just getting a job that was my motivator. It was only after getting very clear that I realised it was more than that - it really was the desire to share the knowledge about how awesome women are, and how profitable business can be if they tap into the natural talents of their people or bring balance to their team.

7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve? 

My book LIPSTICK & LEADERSHIP will be out soon, so I am hoping to get that into the hands of as many people as I can. I am looking forward to launching womenwhoinfluence.com, a website and video channel, where women come together and share their inspirational stories and support each other in a productive community. I have been asked by so many people to start holding training and workshops on finding their natural leadership style and leveraging that style for success, so I will launch lipstick wearing leaders college through leadershipheadquarters.com very soon.


Cheryl Daley, author of LIPSTICK & LEADERSHIP

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Inspiring Women: Julie Rainbow, Clarity Road

Today is International Women's Day, and to mark this special day we've compiled a series of blog posts celebrating the achievements of some remarkable Australian women. Often through adverse circumstances, these women have set goals that have lead to some extraordinary accomplishments. We look forward to sharing their journey with you...

Julie Rainbow is the Director and Founder of Clarity Road: an organisation dedicated to impacting the lives of women through realistic information, support and advice. Julie's journey began with financial betrayal and a breakdown of trust in her relationship. However, this traumatic experience was the catalyst for the creation of her business, Clarity Road.

www.clarityroad.com.au

 


1. Tell us your story:

My name is Julie Rainbow and I live in Brisbane. In 2013, I achieved my goal of creating Clarity Road: an organisation dedicated to providing women with solutions for life changing events. But the idea for Clarity Road was triggered by my own life almost a decade ago.

Like many other women, I trusted my husband to manage our finances while I focused on my business and raising my young family. But life soon began to spiral out of control when I realised that my husband had been misrepresenting our financial position. There were multiple debts to members of my family, as well as a long list of lenders I had never met.
Needless to say, my children and I experienced a complete change of lifestyle after I kicked my husband to the curb. I declared bankruptcy, lost my award winning business and was hounded by debt collectors demanding that I pay back my ex’s debts. My self-esteem plummeted, and I found myself consumed by worry for my children’s future.

Refusing to let my ex-husband’s actions rule my life, I worked numerous jobs to educate and provide for my children. With unwavering support from my family and friends, I was able to rebound emotionally and financially. I am now very happily re-married, financially stable and have found fulfilment in my life. Through Clarity Road, I have achieved my goal of helping other women to do the same.

2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?

While experiencing my life changing events, I was continually frustrated by the separation of information I needed across different sources. For every question answered, it felt like two more arose. From this frustration, my idea for a one-stop-shop for everything to do with life changing events was born.

3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals?

Although I thought of Clarity Road years ago, it wasn’t until recently that I was equipped with the resources to make it a reality. In the meantime, it took an extraordinary amount of time and patience to establish the business. I researched extensively to construct a referral network of services for women and focused my attention on building an online database of information, support and advice. I was able to build from this to create workshop and mentoring programs, and to expand Clarity Road’s to reach as many women as possible.

 
4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?

Undoubtedly, budget has been the primary challenge in creating Clarity Road. Despite multiple investment offers, I have always maintained that I want Clarity Road to expand organically. But this can be easier said than done when the women I aim to help have little time or money to devote to themselves. Resisting the temptation to throw all of my energy into Clarity Road prematurely, I kept my day job and devoted hours to Clarity Road at night. I saved, I budgeted – and eventually it paid off. 

5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?

I reflect on my original inspiration for Clarity Road and remind myself that it is always darkest before the dawn. My family and friends have been unconditionally supportive of my goal to create Clarity Road. Whenever I feel deflated, they give me the confidence and motivation to push through and realise that tomorrow is a brand new day.

6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?

To take risks, believe in yourself and trust your instincts. In short, be fearless.

7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve?

My main focus for the future rests firmly upon helping as many women as possible by establishing a national presence for Clarity Road. By so doing I aim to encourage a community of women supporting women, and to bring awareness those who would otherwise slip through the cracks. 


http://www.clarityroad.com.au/

Visit www.clarityroad.com.au for some great advice and options when dealing with traumatic situations such as separation and divorce, bankruptcy, problems with children and other domestic issues.