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Ep62 Moving the needle

by Jacqui Brauman
June 2nd 2021

In this episode, Jacqui and Ush debrief after Jacqui interviews a woman who is truly contributing to moving the needle for women, both in business and in tech. Peace Mitchell is an international ke... More

Welcome to the I. Q. Meets in Q. Podcast. I'm Jackie bremen principal solicitor at T. B. A. Law and ceo of legally wise woman and I'm here with Bush stanic former corporate hook, former corporate lawyer, then head of HR and now an emotional intelligence coach. Good morning rush, corporal corporate new term does a new term for a lawyer married to or breathing where they person. Yes. Maybe that's what I meant. I don't know. So I guess we'll follow on a little bit from yes, a fortnight ago. What's happened with you? Did you take your day off? I really hope you have. No, no, but I did engineer some time off the tools at least? Mm hmm. So I know that I need a full break at some point. But I managed to drag myself out of my funk without it and instead did half day with a mentor of mine working out a whole lot of different action plans to change the situation.

And I spent another half day just in planning and marketing generally with myself. So I feel like I've, now I'm now working towards all those plan A B C. D. E and F. Simultaneously too. Because if you don't change anything, nothing changes. And so I'm actively pushing change in quite a few areas. Mm hmm. And do you feel rested though? I mean, okay, that's the work side of it. But what about mentally and physically do for arrested or do you still feel like you're on that wheel? Yeah, I still feel like on the wheel, but at the moment I'm not resenting the wheel. But my energy levels have returned. Like I'm not dragging myself through. I'm now like, okay, I've got focus and direction. So that's, I guess what's changed and why didn't you take the day off? I mean, did you feel it? Was it guilt? Be honest? Was it guilt? Well, a little bit, but it just can't be engineered in my calendar.

You know, I'm booked out till last week in june. I couldn't push back appointments a week or two because it's full already. So there was nowhere to move anything And you know, appointments are crucial to keep matters moving forward. And so, but it goes back to that thing we spoke about, right? What if you were sick and you couldn't attend work? I probably pushing my bed on zoom. No, you wouldn't. You would push it back. Well, I don't know. I'd have to be pretty chronically sick. So what you're saying. So what you're saying is you're waiting for the whack or the thump. Yeah. Who spoke about that? Yeah, I remember. Yeah. That you ignore the little, is it the nudge first or something? Yes. Nudge white thump. Was it something like that? Or Mac? It was Mac at the end? The mack truck. Yes. No, I don't think that I'm waiting though because I'm actively now got a plan for change or is that a cop out. Mm hmm. Yeah. Because I think you just needed it.

I think you just needed a day to do nothing. And just sort of, you know, gather, gather your thoughts. I, well, I mean midnight last night victoria has gone back into a seven day lockdown. So it also feels like a big relief of pressure because I get two or three hours back into my day. It does make things more difficult to do from home as well. So productivity goes down. But I guess a pressure relief. So Sorry, Victorians I manifested of seven. It was the only way we were going to get Jackie to have a couple of hours off. Yeah. As miserable as it is to not be able to go and do what you want to do on the weekend. It is quietly a little bit of a relief. Mhm I can imagine. Yeah. So sorry, I didn't do my homework. And did you decide to, um, what was so high level, what's the plan? You're going to? Just some people, I guess. No. Because you know, in case anyone else is out there, did you decide to hire and sort of sacrifice what's coming your way for a while.

Yes. Yes. So that's, that's definitely on the cards. I've hired a recruiter. In fact, I hired the recruiter the day after we spoke last time because us advertising directly didn't really result in anything. So recruiters on it. I'm also speaking to. So one recruiter, I'm giving the task of finding staff and as I've said to you last time, I didn't say it on the recording, but there's no fat in my business at all, so there's no room for employing a new person and still paying me. So I'm going to commit to three months without pay. But with me really focused on staff training and marketing for those three months while someone else comes in because that's doable. I'm also employing a different recruiter from a different place so that they're not, they don't get a full picture of what I'm trying to do. And this other guy is trying to find me another small business to merge with and start having conversations with people who actually have a smallish or similar sized business because economies of scale are going to help improve both sides.

So that's happening as well. So that's a couple of the plans and I'm actually going to talk to a couple of my larger clients who I've had fairly good relationships with over long periods of time and say to them, you know, on the outside, you might think that this looks great, but it's not working for me. And so these are the things that I'm trying to change, what do you think and basically ask them as really good business owners for their input and advice and hopefully garner the support in whatever ends up happening, wow, how do you feel about the merge with the right person, I think it would be an absolute relief because it's a then a spread of responsibility and leadership. So actually I think that that that could be quite exciting. I don't want to completely lose the culture I've developed and that's why it has to be the right very similar fit obviously.

Yeah, but if I didn't put it out there for someone to help find it, it wouldn't happen, would it? Exactly, wow, that's amazing. There are some things I didn't even take time off, but that is so good. Well done. That's a good plan though. Yeah. Yeah, and that's only the iceberg of the plan, believe me. Yeah, wow. So now that you've got the lockdown, I guess you had a bit more time to work on the plan and think about things and move things along, have conversations. Yeah, Yeah, very much so. Very good. That's good. Thank you. And before we started recording, we were quickly talking about your training as well because we moved from recording yesterday morning to this morning because you're training of the month. So training is going really, really well. I think you guys have probably heard, I've talked about it that the issue for me is I'm not losing weight on the scales, so it's really disheartening to train a lot have gone from three days a week of P.

T to five days of pt so it's like full on, three of those sessions are one hour and two of the sessions are 30 minutes. So It's a lot. And then on top of that, there's 8000 steps a day, which I actually thought it wouldn't be that hard. But if you're in a job that's office space, it is hard because It's really hard to get 8006. And then on top of the 8000 steps, I have to do 30 minutes on my treadmill can, which I've got at home now, so just cardio sits a lot and like my body is feeling it, but in a good way. But I noticed that, you know, when I spoke to the nutritionist and all the help and the doctors, that something wasn't right, like there's just no way you can do that much exercise. And I wasn't eating a lot, that it just didn't make sense, right? Unless calories in more calories burnt, why you're not losing weight. So it wasn't anything hormonal, all the bloods were done. So there was nothing to do with that. And basically ended up coming up to the fact that my metabolism is missed because I went through a period of like, really bad dieting and I've always sort of yo yo diet dieted done things to lose weight pretty quickly.

But then I always end up putting it back on and there was one period where I was doing only like 500 calories a date. And that wasn't even with food, it was with just two shakes a day and no food. All right. So it was pretty bad and I did that for actually for a really long while And now that I'm eating again, my body is a bit like, what are you doing? You know? So they've got me on 1700 calories, which is a lot like I feel sick even just thinking about it right now, to be honest, at like 6:00 AM, but I'm eating breakfast now, which I never ever did. Yeah, and I'm not really, I'm not really cutting out any food, I'm just eating what I need to eat. And I've noticed that I am hungrier, but definitely not 1700 calories I would like when I was like dieting, that's like three days worth of food right in one day. And the analogy they gave, which I was telling you about before we hit the recording was imagine these little workmen in the little outfits, you know, with their shovels adding, you know, coal to the fire or whatever it is sealed to the fire and and mine's stopped doing that because the food stopped coming in. So, you know, the foreman's going, hey, hang on, there's nothing coming in, We can't can't feel it, we just can't give her anymore.

And now that I am eating, there's still a bit skeptical, but they're struggling a little bit more, but not enough. So I it's interesting though because I haven't really ever thought of myself as having any eating disorder ever. I've never thought about eating disorder, I don't eat and throw up or anything like that, but I realized that maybe eating disorders come in different forms, you know, it's not just the traditional, I'm going to go eat and then I'm gonna go throw up. But it's, it's the fact that the thought of eating food just freaks me out. It's the fact that it's really counterintuitive to go eat food when I'm going, I've got away. And the other thing is I've got to do a daily weigh in. So because I know that I'm weighing myself every single morning, it's also making me go like my brain's going, don't eat, but then my body is going, no, you've got to eat. So I've sort of just, I'm trusting the process and I am eating, doing my way in. I'm doing everything, but we'll see what happens right. I start losing or not. Yeah, well, good luck.

It sounds like it's a big readjustment and I think, you know, you're on the right track because I just as a bit of a comparison, you know, I do probably about 5000 steps on a day when I'm not working out and that's just around the house and around the office and then I always walk the dogs as well, which is another three or four kilometers and then if I run, you know, My step count for the day would be upwards of 20,000 steps that is nuts. So yeah, it's just just a bit of a comparison. And also when I'm actually tracking what I'm eating, The levels in my app is set at 1400 calories. So you're having to eat 1700. So 1400 and 1400 is cutting down for me because I Would eat much more than that. And so I'd be having to really watch what I'm eating to eat 1400. So that's, I mean because you, as you sort of said, you look at me and I'm slim and I work out a lot and you didn't have an indication then of what I was eating to maintain that, but I think you also don't have an idea about how much I exercise either.

So I would do maybe three long runs a week of about an hour. I'm walking the dogs every day for half an hour. Um And I'm fitting in maybe three sessions of Pilates for half an hour a week as well on an average week When I was not working for myself and I could actually get to the gym, I'd probably do seven hours a week at the gym and then maybe too long runs. So that would be maybe close to 10 hours of um exercise and funnily you're talking about Eating disorders. I, so I now weigh between, you know, I fluctuate between 60 and 65 kg and I'm 170 cm tall When I was 14, 15, 16, I got my weight down to about 45 kg. So 20 kg less than I am now.

And you think I'm slim now and I was exercising three hours a day or more at that point and maybe eating a meal once every two days, once every two days. Oh my goodness. And occasionally, if I thought that I had, you know, because it was hard to maintain, my body was really hungry all the time, you know, I would then potentially binge sometimes and eat a whole chocolate cake and then go and throw it all up. So that was my teenage years, wow. Do you think you're still addicted to training or you just enjoy the training Maybe when I was still doing so much at the gym with the 10 hours a week, it was probably still an element of control, but You know, it's probably been 10 years or so that I've been like, I actually understand my body now, I understand how much and how little I can put into it and what I can get out of it.

So I, you know, I can go a long time without monitoring what I'm eating and I just know that if I stick to Yeah, I think I'm good now. I love food. Yeah. So do I I do love food, but again, like I said, it's just counterintuitive, it's just your brain just goes, you want to lose weight, eat less, that's it. It's just what it does, but it needs it needs a start. Also they said to even freak me out even more, but I love their honesty was you might put on weight in the interim before you lose it because you're eating so much and I'm like, oh my God, like do not tell me sh it like that, and they're like, just carry on because they said that game will only be short lived interim before it will go back down. But then it was funny because I bathe myself yesterday, so I'm doing a day anyway, and I put on like 100 g in a day and like, I knew I shouldn't be in that kind of things, you know, That's so funny. That's so funny.

So look, I hope that that helps any listeners, because we're being really open about how much we work out and how much we eat and there must be huge variations in that. But yeah, all this comparison items, stuff where people are, have different assumptions about others. This episode is going to be a long one. I know because I still want everyone to be introduced and have a listen to peace Mitchell who I interviewed, She's the Ceo and co founder of Women's Business School and then she founded also the awesome entrepreneur awards, which has been going for over 10 years, she's also the Australian ambassador of a global organization called Women in Tech and, you know, even from all those things that I've said, it's clear that she's passionate about supporting women who are wanting to own a business and work in the way that they want to work. So let's have a listen. I want to welcome peace Mitchell to our podcast.

How are you piece? I'm wonderful. It's great to be here. It's great to have you. I have watched the rise and rise of your awards and we'll get to that. But more recently I heard you speak and just thought you're just going to be perfect for what our listeners like and need to hear. But before we jump straight in, what when you were growing up, did you want to be? Oh, I love this question. So there there's a moment that I remember when I was in year three, I specifically remember the teacher I was speaking to mrs Kitty, my year three teacher. And she was asking there was a little group of girls asking us what do you want to be when you grow up. And I said, I really want to be a marine biologist. And she unfortunately said, oh, that's very hard. You'll have to do a lot of study to do to become a marine biologist. And in that moment I decided I'd be a teacher instead because obviously that wasn't as much study if Mrs Kibbe was doing it.

But I think that as teachers, we have to be very careful about what we say to students and Children. And I wonder if I would have gone on to become a marine biologist if she had have said, wow, that's excellent. You can totally do that. You'd make an amazing marine biologist from a young age. I guess teaching though was something that I've always been passionate about and I did go on to be a teacher and I did teach my students about the ocean and the great barrier reef. And I remember one year I painted, lined the walls of my classroom with butcher's paper and painted mermaids and coral and dolphins and fish and all sorts of things because I've always loved the ocean, but I've always loved teaching. So that's why we wanted to be. Yeah. And so you're probably really value education as well and being able to educate others around you. Yeah, it's very rewarding as well. So did you grow up in Swan Hill?

You were saying earlier you've been around there. So I was born in Swan Hill, a tiny little town in rural victoria. And then when I was two years old, my parents moved to Cairns in North Queensland and I grew up in Cairns. So right near the great barrier reef. I lived at a beachside suburb called Holloways Beach. We could walk straight down to the beach from our house every day after school. And I've always loved living by the coast. I've lived in lots of different places over the years. I currently live in coquette point at the moment, near Innisfail and I have a house overlooking the coral sea, which I just love. So that, you know, that longing to be a marine biologist and loving the ocean hasn't left. Yeah. And also to be very remote as well and still be able to be part of the global movements that you are. I mean, it just goes to show that we can do that from anywhere now too, doesn't it? But wouldn't it have been interesting growing up on the Murray river to want to be a marine biologist?

It makes much more sense that you're in Cairns. So tell us what your career path looked like then. So you did go to uni and got your teaching degree. Yes, I went to uni, I got my teaching degree. I worked as a primary school teacher for about five or six years. And then when I had my first son, I remember ringing the Department of Education and saying instead of coming back after maternity leave into the classroom, are there other roles available? Perhaps I could do School of the air? Oh, distance ed or something else. And they just said, no, there's nothing else for you, You need to come back to the classroom or nothing. So I did actually return back to the classroom and I took on a shared teaching role, but it wasn't the same. I really missed having my own class and having that freedom of creativity and really that sense of ownership.

And they were when I was a teacher, they were my students, it was my class. And people would often remark and say things like I can always tell when it's your students because they enter the room so quietly, they're so polite and respectful. And I kind of set the tone for the environment that I was creating in my classroom and with my students. But when I was in a shared teaching role that kind of got diluted somehow, even though the other person I was teaching with was wonderful, she was a beautiful teacher. It wasn't the same. And so I missed that. And then I guess the other side of the coin is also that I missed my baby and my eldest son, you know, it was my first child and I really wanted to be with him. But I also always had a vision for equality, true equality with my husband. And we've spoken about this from, I remember having conversations from before we were married saying I want to really equal partnership in this marriage and I expect you to be very hands on with the parenting. And that means that when we have Children that you will I will work part time and your work part time and we will share that role together.

Mhm. And we did accept it just, it didn't work out. So he was working part time. But on the days that he was at home with my son, you go to the beach and they go and have fun and they visit people and go to the playground in the park. But on the days that I was at home I wanted to clean the house and do the grocery shopping, get all the Washington then, you know, for me the weekends meant family time. But of course my husband had already been to the beach during the week and he we had a farm, so he'd go and work on the farm on weekends. So it was like, you know my family were off having fun while I was at work and then on weekends I was kind of just doing the housework and missing that time with my family with my husband. Yeah, there was a real kind of, it didn't fit the vision that I'd had for being a working mother and I knew that there had to be a better way, which is when I realized that I wanted to start my own online business.

Great, great, so tell us about that journey, Did you start it while you were still teaching and sort of build it up on the side and then at what point did you go, okay now I've just got to focus on this, I guess for me, I went I was still teaching and then when I was pregnant with my second baby, it was like this sigh of relief, I can go on maternity leave now and and just, it was after my second son was born that I started playing around with different business ideas and my first business idea was to make hand embroidered bikinis, go into the fashion industry, I had no experience in fashion, I had no connections with manufacturers, retailers, any of that, I did a course through to fifth to learn how to sew because I couldn't even so, But ultimately that business failed, I just, I was so isolated, you know, in a spell, is a very small town in North Queensland, it's a farming community, we are an 18 hour drive from Brisbane where all of the manufacturers and things are and the fashion, there's no kind of fashion industry here, it's not a thing.

So it was, I was very isolated and alone and there was no one to support me in business, I've never run a business before, there were no business courses I could go to, I had two young Children, so even getting to the local networking events was incredibly difficult. So that business failed and you know, that lack of support and connection that I felt and experienced a new, that that was something that women all over Australia were experiencing as well. And so my sister Katie, who also lives locally in Innisfail, she had also tried to get a business up and running and had faced all of the same challenges, you know, she was designing strollers with beautiful fabric patterns and things, they were going to be amazing, but they needed to be manufactured in china and there was no way we could go to china and have these conversations, but both of us realized from those failed businesses that there were other women who needed support and needed connection to experienced entrepreneurs and manufacturers and all of that, and that's how our current business really began, that, not really just creating a place where women could come together and get that support and home based business owners really.

And we found that there were lots of other moms like us with young kids who had these big ambitions for businesses, but we're struggling with getting the support that they needed. Yeah, and when it, when you can create an online community which you've done it, it's um then removes the need to travel, you can be Present when the kids are still in the background and you know, we've all seen over the last 12 months with the pandemic how much we can get done from home and online and have you seen a shift in mindset over those, you know, the last 12-18 months? Yeah, it's been really interesting, you know, I've been working from home for 12 years, we've started this business in 2009 and working remotely, you know, has always been what we do, but I remember back in the early days when you tell people that you had a home based business that look at you as if you were making it up or it was a scam or it was some strange thing that like why aren't you in an office?

And I know for so many working women that have been calling for flexibility around working and working remotely for years and you know, corporate organizations saying it's not possible you have to be in an office, This is the pandemic happened and overnight all of those assumptions were just blown out of the water. It was just like, what the 9-5, no, we don't have to work 9-5 being in an office. We don't have to be in an office, it's it's quite incredible to me, but I think that there's been a huge shift globally about what the future of work will look like now Because of this event happening and people have realized that actually, no, we don't have to be in an office looking at all of our employees to get the job done and we can allow flexibility. We can allow remote working, we can allow people to not have to work 9-5 to work the hours that suit them and yeah, I'm really excited about what the future might hold.

Yeah, yeah, the outlook is really interesting and I think some of the pushback will only just starting now with people sort of being told no, now it's time to return into the office and to see what, what starts happening there. Yeah, but I know you, as I said earlier, primarily because you've been the face and the name behind your awards and I'll let you introduced what those are in a sec, but you've just also touched on one of the reasons I think why you started those and that is around the condescension or the looking down upon when a woman is working from home, running their own business from home, as if, you know, it's not a real thing or a hobby or something like that. It's just, yeah, is that something that you've really pushed against? Yes, so the Bosnian Premier Awards have been running for 12 years and we initially started them to challenge that assumption that home based business was just a hobby because it's not, and we've had over the years, we've had so many women running multimillion dollar businesses that they've started from home.

Some of them are still running multimillion dollar businesses from home and yeah, I just wanted to get that message out to the wider community that these are women running real businesses, Yes, they've got their Children at home with them and they shouldn't have to lie about that or pretend to be something they're not, this is, This is a real industry. The moms in home based businesses, I think there's about 330,000 Australian moms in business and globally even more and it really is providing a way for women to be able to be really present and at home with their Children, but also to be able to be providing an income for their family, fulfilling their personal ambitions and getting to have that family time that they want as well. And I just see so many benefits to it and often it's overlooked. I know government policies and things like that don't really value home based business in the way that they really should because it does, it brings a lot to the community, to the economy, to families, to health and well being and the ripple effects of that are huge.

Really. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And when I realized that you were running this from Innisfail, um it also blew my mind because you are so present and put on such a big awards, you know, event as well. I mean, it's just it's been amazing that you've been able to build that and the longevity of it too. I think that, you know, I just wanted to acknowledge you for that. But the other thing as well and I've spoken about this with a few other guests to is also this word about Mom preneurs and again, some of the, you know, the negative things that might be attached to that or also some of the, you know that it excludes some female businesses as well. I don't know, what do you think about that the term entrepreneur, it's interesting. I think the term women in business was controversial when it first came out as well. And yet I think mom preneurs, for me it's a parenting style and I know for the women in our community, that's what it is.

It's not some kind of label that we write on our business card instead of writing ceo we write mom. It's not like that, it's a parenting style. It's a choice that we want to be at home raising our Children and we also want to be bringing income for our family. I don't, it's not that hard to work out why you would want to do that because that flexibility is something that I know lots of women are looking for. Um, but yeah, the term entrepreneur, to me it's a parenting style. It's a choice of how you're going to be a parent and also be a working mom. Yeah, yeah, I know it's a great point. So the other things that you've got passionate about over the last few years as well has certainly been around women in tech and you've gotten more and more globally active active around that as well. Tell me, you know, what sort of got you more and more passionate about about that as well. Mm well, I think I think it's really about women in leadership.

We need more women at all levels of leadership. We need women at a government level making those kind of policy decisions and changes that need, we need to be seeing at that level, but we need more women in innovation. So when things are being designed, we need women who are there, who have a seat at the table saying, but what about women? How do women fit in this? And women will also say, but what about Children? Because women are always advocating for everyone else, They're not just thinking about themselves as a woman. How does this work for for all people? How would this work for disabled people? So for example, the seatbelt, when the seat belt was designed, it was designed for a man and currently even today there is no seat belt that is actually safe for a pregnant woman, which you know, that's alarming, why, why is that a thing? And we need more women at the table when decisions are being made, when designs are being made when things are being invented And currently we just don't.

The numbers are not, it's not 5050, it's way less. When when you look at tech, the number of women going into tech is lower. And then the number of women leaving tech is higher and it's not just women having Children either. This is across the board and there's a number of factors and reasons, but a big one is the culture, this bro culture, it's called and it's particularly in the startup scene, you're expected to be working 24 7 in this text space and it's, it's not sustainable. It's at least burnout and mental health issues and all kinds of issues. But yeah, I'm really passionate about women in tech and seeing more women taking on those roles across the board myself as a female founder, I want to see more women as female founders. You know, all the stats and research on that when women are leading their own businesses, they're more likely to employ other women.

And then there are also more likely to enable those women to have flexibility and open communication around things like maternity leave. And if the kids are sick and school holidays, you know, in our own business, we've just taken a woman on recently and we've just said to her, if you need to take time off for whatever reason, just come and have a chat with us and we'll work something out. We're completely flexible around that. We've we've worked with virtual assistance for years with Children and two of them both had babies. And we said to them take the time that you need when you're ready to come back, even if it's one hour a day or one hour a week, let us know how much work you want and we will tailor that to you, if you need more time off or you're ready to come back sooner than you thought. Just be open with us about what you're looking for and that kind of real level of flexibility, I think is something that other women get because we've we've went through it.

I had a baby my youngest child seven, so I had a baby seven years ago and Katie's youngest child is six and we both took time off for those babies. So we understand that the flexibility and then, and then when I was ready, I came back one hour a day and then I scaled that up and she got a bit older and so we understand what that looks like as women, as mothers. So then we're able to offer that to our staff as well. And it doesn't have to be hard. It doesn't have to be this set in stone policy that everyone has to have the same amount of time off. It's like if you need more time off, go for it, we'll make it work here at our end. And then when you're ready to come back, we can make that work as well. It doesn't have to be complicated I guess is the message. You know, that's that's so good to hear because it's so right. I just think about some of the policies that are being put in place and again, I think there's too many men probably making the policies because as you say, like everyone's needs are different.

The new baby's needs are all different. But the mms needs as well. And also, you know, their intellectual stimulation and there needs other than just being a mom as well, need to be thought about two and all the different varieties of situations. I was also thinking about the complete extremes of the bro culture versus the mom preneurs choice that you were just talking about as well. Like there's almost a complete ends of the spectrum they like, yeah, we need, we need much more of a balance. Yeah, I think so. You know, and they are, they are at different ends of the spectrum. And I think perhaps as a result of that, we need to think about how we can support the mom from our culture. And I've loved seeing New initiatives coming up for funding because one of the biggest issues for female founders is that 2.7% of the funding goes to women. And the other, What is that, 97 point goes to men.

And that means, you know, even a man with a really bad mediocre but kind of boring idea is way more likely to get funding than a woman with a brilliant idea. And the other thing, it's not just the percentage, it's also the amount of funding. So a man is more likely to get $2 million Oh, here's $200,000. So it's just it's miles apart and it's really frustrating to me because I know that women are the world's greatest untapped resource. They have all of the ideas to solve all of the problems in the world, but those ideas are not always able to get off the ground. And that's frustrating to me. But what I was going to say is that I'm loving starting to see new funding alternatives coming up. So we're seeing more women as investors and one of my personal ambitions is to become and an investor, I'm already investing in a small scale, but I'd love to be doing more in that space.

But I'm also seeing things like Ceo, which started back in 2000 and 16, a model where women are giving, giving money to other women and choosing ventures and supporting them, not just financially, but also with resources and education and support. And then the other thing that has just come up in the last two years is equity crowdfunding. And I'm pretty excited about this space because it's an opportunity For everyone to be an investor and from $50 or $100 you can invest in women's businesses. And we've seen a couple of really great examples of this George Murray from Sheba, she was able to raise $3 million 97% of her backers were women. It's just so exciting. And then my friend Monica Meldrum, she was the winner of the Asthma Entrepreneur Award in 2015. She also successfully raised $1 million dollars just last year equity crowdfunding. So I'm really excited about that space and the potential For it to be really a way to leverage women and get them access to the capital because women, other women do have access to capital.

We might not all have $1 million dollars to throw at small business or startups getting off the ground, but we've all got 50 to $100 and women are incredibly generous and love to support each other. So yeah, it's interesting the bro culture and the Mom Preneurs culture and and the different supports that are starting to come through and really, you know, when I say starting 2016 was Ceo 2000 and 18, we started seeing equity crowdfunding. So I'm excited about that space and what the future holds there. I think it's going to be interesting. Yeah, yeah, as, as you're talking sort of, my hope is building more and more as well about the excitement that women are going to change the world. Big statement, the world is changing, It really is at linkedin three of my connections, all raised a million dollars in the same week recently, so when I'm starting to see stuff like that happen, I know that change is coming, it's happening, it's here, it's right now and it's exciting time to be part of this industry as a female founder.

Yeah, very much so as well as giving mom preneurs like validity and stage, have you also seen that the awesome entrepreneur awards have helped them um, as part of the application process, really look at their business and actually take it seriously themselves and have you seen them grow over successive years? Absolutely. I think one of the biggest unexpected outcomes from the entrepreneur awards is the shift in mindset that happens when someone is acknowledged by the community because it's not just, it's not just Katie and I are giving out these awards, there's a formal judging process, The applications are all read every applications read by three independent judges, then they have a live interview with a panel of three judges and so to get through to that final stage and be the winner in your category is actually it's a lot to get there and yeah, it's that mindset shift of people who thought of themselves as, you know, I'm just kind of doing this thing, I love my business, but it's just this little idea I have this side hustle and then when they're given that recognition, the shift to, well actually I'm a businesswoman and this is my business and this is my vision and this is where we're going with this and to see that that change happen and that bigger vision really open up of like, okay, well if that's possible, what else is possible for me, what else can I do with this business and where can we take it?

And I just love seeing that transformation happen And I guess the beauty of, you know, it's been 12 years now of watching these businesses come through, we've been part of the stories of lots of businesses. Um one of my favorites would have to be beatbox monique filer and Danielle Michaels. We discovered them in their first year in business. They spent two years in production and getting things off the ground and and producing their very first product, the beatbox nappy wallet. And it's been so exciting being part of their journey. They now have a multimillion dollar business. It was the best selling best selling sippy cup in Korea A couple of years ago. They've won the highest level of business awards with Telstra. They've been acknowledged by the Australian government for their trade expertise and their star just continues to shine and and go on and on and on. They employ lots of women and they're now manufacturing in Australia as well as china.

They're they're in stores all over the world, walmart Harrods, you name it, they're there and I just, yeah, I just get such a buzz out of seeing that happened from, you know, these these two women who had designed their first product out of an old cardboard box and some sticky tape to now be these incredible business women who other women look up to and you know, the Australian government, bring them up and ask them for their advice. So yeah, I love, I love what we do. Yes, some of those journeys and stories that you have and the network that you have built as well, you know, over the longevity, but also by supporting as you say, and I've found as well, you know, the community of business women is very supportive. It's not this picture that the patriarchy tends to face that women are banging heads and catty and all those sorts of things. But yeah, so is awesome entrepreneur gonna be global mom preneurs at some point, actually, we've just launched the global Business mothers Awards.

So, you know, for so long we've had it as this Australian thing and we've realized 2020 in particular has made us realize that there are women everywhere who deserve this recognition, who need to be acknowledged for the work that they do in building their business alongside raising their family. And so we're very excited to have just launched the global Business mothers Awards and be recognizing women everywhere for the work that they're doing. Yeah, wow, very exciting. What are huge undertaking with all the other things that you're doing, you know, ambassador for Women in tech and also running the women's business school as well and writing a book I just learned. Yes, always got things on the go. So looking back on your 21 year old self that would have just been finishing her teacher training, it's hard to imagine what she had ahead of her, but what sort of advice would you give to her now, after everything that you've learned and all the passion you found in advocating for equality, I guess my biggest advice to her would be don't let fear get in the way of stopping you from following your dreams.

And I think that advice would be something I'd love to give to all young women out there who was starting out in their career, There is a lot of fear isn't there a lot of fear for for young women and fear about having to prove themselves and fear that they're going to not no, what needs to be known or you know, so much fear of judgment. Yeah. Fear of taking a risk and then that failing and then everything going wrong, but actually that's not how it works. If you take a risk and it doesn't work out, that's okay, You just start again and build something else trying that if we're too scared to take that risk to take that first step, then we'll never know. And so many people don't take the risk because they're trying to stay safe. But actually taking that risk is what you need to do. Yes. Such a good point being a mom and wearing all the hats that you wear and running all the things and and and also, you know, nurturing the huge network that you have as well.

I mean, what do you do to check in with yourself and make sure you're going okay? Because you can be giving, giving giving all the time and you are what do you do to keep yourself Well mm I think self care is hugely important, but for me that looks like boundaries. So I'm very strict with boundaries around my time in particular, in the early days in my business, I did get caught up in that whole hustle and the bro culture of thinking that you had to work late into the night and then get up early the next morning and be working and work all weekend. And I very quickly realized that that was not sustainable and I in fact started resenting my business and feeling disappointed that I was putting all this work in and not seeing results. And it took me a little while to realize that that had to change and that actually you can run a run a successful business and not work yourself into the ground.

And as you know, as a leader in my community, I have to be a role model for other women, I have to show them that it is possible to work from nine till three and then have that time with your kids. So boundaries has been hugely important to me. So boundaries around my working time, things like school holidays as well. I'll often work in the mornings, but then we'll have family time in the afternoon, so that it's a balance of The work that I need to get done, but also enjoying that time with my family. So self care has been very much about that, but I must say the other thing in the last 12 months, not even 12 months Since September last year, I've been on five retreats on retreat and you know, I didn't, my first retreat was in 2016 and after that retreat I went, I am going to commit to going on a retreat every year because it's so important and I find often after, after a treat, I just am so refreshed and renewed and re energized and have great creative ideas and enthusiasm for my business.

And so I think investing in actual downtime and being around other inspiring people and just yeah, really refreshing myself does make a huge difference to my business Before coronavirus before the COVID and everyone stopped traveling. I was traveling around the world in 2019, I went to Paris New York London and Lisbon and then I haven't been on a plane since February 2020, so I've been doing local retreats instead and it's been amazing. Well, yeah, we do have some of the best beaches in the world anyway, don't we? So the location, we're not, you know, in Australia, we are spoiled for great locations. It's great. Yes. Yeah. Again, I just want to acknowledge you like you've done so much and you continue to do so much for the advancement of women and girls because you know, you're a mom of a daughter and I think it is, it is a pivotal time for change now And I think part of the reason we're seeing changes because people have been hammering away in the background like yourself for so long.

So yeah, again, just wanting to acknowledge you for that and thank you so much for your time to come and share some of your story and your purpose with our listeners. Thanks so much for having me. I've really enjoyed being here and yeah, let's keep going. You know, you're part of the movement as well. Let's move the needle and gender equality and create more opportunities for the next future of girls, definitely. Right. So, uh, because we're writing this book, I went back and listened and read quite a lot of transcripts where we actually talked about talked about Yeah, that's right. How derogatory the term entrepreneur to have been. So, it was interesting to talk to peace who has embraced the term. Mm hmm It was it still made me cringe even just hearing it in the recording. I don't know what it is about the term for me. But I do. I find it really offensive. It's like, it's like why do we have to say that we're moms and entrepreneur? I get that we play the role of both.

Right? I get it. And we do. We're a mom and we're an entrepreneur but I don't know what is it saying when we put the words together that we can't be both good at both and we have to do half and half. I mean that I guess that's what I find offensive is are you saying I'm only not you but you know, is the, is the word saying I'm only half um um and and good at that job half and I'm only half an entrepreneur and doing that job half. Well no, I'm an entrepreneur 100% and I'm, I'm, I'm 100%. Mm hmm. It's very much the story that we're applying to that, isn't it? And even further back when people said that they worked from home, you know, 10, 15, 20 years ago. I think people didn't take whatever they did from home seriously. And so then the term mom preneurs has sort of morphed into that when people look down on that. But now that you know peace was saying that it's a choice and that they established the awesome entrepreneur awards to show the world that the businesses are legit and talked about the multimillion dollar businesses that have been through the awards and the women that she's seen grow their businesses and still running multimillion dollar businesses from home.

It's not to take away from what they've achieved. But again, it's, that is you just said it now that why is the connotation that among printer works from home? Why is that? Yeah. Mhm Yeah. Why can't you be a mom printer like I know many they have full time nannies and they go to work or to have family support. They're not sitting at home. And I also think it's it's a miss. It's a misconception that because your mom, you stay at home mom, you know, you don't have to be. And also I think the term on partner, it makes it sound like it's a hobby that you do in between feeding and sleeping with the child. Well, it's not. It's totally not. And I also think it's disrespectful to a lot of women that have, you know, potentially sacrifice time with their kids to build their business. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Until that it irritates the funk out of me. I just don't like the term nothing to do with peace or the awards. I just don't like the term. Yeah. Yeah. It's funny how it's so triggering for you actually, the only thing that that is triggering about it for me is that I feel excluded from it.

All right. Yeah. Well you can be a dog preneurs I could a dog, mom or affirm entrepreneur for mom printer that you know, you're probably doing more Time with your dogs and I'm with my child to be honest, 30 minute walks a day out. How good are you as a fair mom. Oh my goodness. Well, you know, they're active pups. So I can't remember the last time I took my daughter to the park for 30 minutes? Let's let's go back into comparison. Itis too. Shall we do your home cooked food for your dogs? Do you really what? No, no. Ah that's funny. But look, I really loved actually the story that she had that inspired her to do what she does again, it's so similar to so many people that we've interviewed where they've had some kind of change in their career fairly early on and made something work for themselves.

And particularly because, you know, she's in Innisfail, so remote living where she wants to live and yet still running multiple successful enterprises. And I'm glad she spoke about the vigorous nous of the awards. And judging because I should be honest, I have a misconception about awards like that they're rigged or you know, I think some are, some of you can pay, you can pay to get the award that you want to get, but then there's the the more legitimate ones, you know, like the Telstra Business awards and the Industry, the Industry Association Awards. Mm hmm. Yeah. I know. I'm just always skeptical of them that, you know, if you if you've networked better and know people better, you're going to win an award. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's interesting as well now that she's very much part of this Association for Women in Tech and how there's so much of a bro culture around the tech industry still, even though we all use tech where a lot of us are now very much doing business online.

Um and you know on reflection the bro, culture is probably just very much driven by the very vocal young men out of the U. S. I mean otherwise I'm not sure that it exists everywhere, I don't think it does. And you know what it's interesting you say this because I had a conversation with someone I know and they got um business owner in not intake in it, just another business and he got accused as a business owner of having a bro culture, you know men at the boardroom culture and he was having a chat with me not with this person with the woman that raised it, but he said oh she goes you know what because we have to cop ship because he goes it's not a bro culture because I find that offensive and he's got three daughters, he goes I find that really offensive that I'm josh for that it goes the reason that there are men in that room is because there are men in that room because they're the right men to discuss what needs to be discussed because there's nothing to do with the fact that they're men or that their women, he goes whoever is the right person will be in that room at that moment in time.

Um And he made a really valid point that you know if there were women women in this industry then he'd happily employ them and include them in the boardroom, but he's like there aren't and we've applied, you know we've advertised and women haven't applied because what am I meant to do, not grow my business because we're not employ a man because no woman is applied. But he made a really valid point and it was a bit of event too. But he's like, you know what? He goes, we cop ship, we get judged and he goes, what we're trying to do is run a business. Yeah, that's right. And I wonder where the circuit breaker is because is it not enough women actually studying those subjects still because we know now that more women study law and accounting for example, than men. So we know that there's a funnel of equal amounts and they drop off at some point. But for for tech and I suppose computer engineering, maybe there's just not enough women at the start of the funnel. Or does it come to the point where women, you know this research that women are less likely to think that they're qualified for a job and so don't apply.

So is there some of that? I think they're also intimidated maybe as well. That's right that it is very male oriented and dominated. That should there even be the burden on a business owner two actively seek out women. I think that that's the case for government, but for private business. For public companies. Yes, I think there should be in certain executive roles, but for startups and small to medium businesses? I think it's too much of a burden, recruiting is hard enough. How do you then go, okay, no, actively find me, someone like this? Yeah, it's a hard thing, isn't it? It is really hard. Yeah, but I think you're right, it's at the beginning of the funnel, so I'm working with the tech company at the moment that is, there are more males, but then there are also a lot of females, but they have been really good at actively, um you know, doing grad programs, they create a really good culture, they're very supportive, like one of the things they're looking at doing, you know, they do a day of work from home, not, it's not all remote, but they also look at things like, you know every quarter, can you do a week of working anywhere in the world?

Can you work from the beach for the week every quarter? Um they're just like really innovative and I think that's what these perceived male cultures need to do. It's not about if you're having women go work from home, it's about how can we collectively make our culture, whether you're a man or a woman more appealing. Yeah, and it's probably, you know, some of the bro culture is probably the fact that they're young men without families and responsibilities. And so again this comparison artist thing on a different level, like we look at someone who works 18 hours or more a day and the same expectations can't apply to other people at different stages in life. It doesn't diminish their value. It doesn't, but at the same time there shouldn't be a perception that just because you're a female or woman, you won't work 18 hours a day either. Works both ways, right? It does, it does. But it also comes around again. Why is it, Why is it even expected that 18 hours is needed?

Like can't we just be a little bit more effective? Yeah. Yeah. Hmm, interesting. So yeah, I liked also how she said, you know how her and her husband were going to try all the whole equal partnership, but it just didn't work. That was really fascinating. It was, yeah, that's true and how he would do all the fun stuff and it goes back to boxing certain roles, doesn't it? But you know what, I'll just go have fun with the kids and you know when pieces at home she can do the cleaning. Yeah, it is, it is even a conscious decision to have equal shared care or responsibility for the Children didn't automatically results in a sharing of some of that unpaid labor. It was fascinating. And I think that that is something that I have always been scared about and why I haven't, one of the reasons why I haven't had Children because I just knew that the burden of all the daily organizing would fall to me and I'm like, no, no, I don't want it.

You are a great share. Baby mom. I walked my dog. three or 4 K is a Dick. Exactly. That is so good. Yes. Alright, well there you go. We've given a lot of really of ourselves, I guess this episode juicy food for thought. So, I mean, it would be interesting to hear from others about this mom preneurs term as well. I mean it's so triggering for rush. So it could be a little bit of a controversial conversation. We'd love to dive deeper into it. So if anyone wants to get in touch, we would love comments on our podcast page like you meets eq dot com dot au. We post these onto linkedin or where can they email you? Rush at dot com. Great. And best email for me is Jackie at legally wise women dot com dot au. Talk to you next time. Bye.

Ep62 Moving the needle
Ep62 Moving the needle
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