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Ep 42 When it Gets to Do Or Die

by Jacqui Brauman
October 28th 2020

This episode features another woman who has created her own business, and in this case her own unique product as well. Like many women her age Suzanne Carroll cam... More

Mhm. Welcome to the I. Q. Meets EQ podcast. I'm Jacqui Brauman, principal solicitor at T. B. A. Law and ceo of legally wise women and I'm here with Ush Dhanak former corporate lawyer, then head of HR and now an emotional intelligence coach. Good morning Morning Jackie, How are you going? Well, how are you? Good, thank you. So, we're getting further into spring days are longer feels good. Huh? It does feel good. We were really stinking hot yesterday in Sydney the last few days actually. It's been really good. And then, um actually joe went to the beach yesterday with some friends and I was like, oh God, should she go? Should she not? And then I was reading on the news and they said that we were actually quite well behaved. Um and they had, like, social distancing naturally, like on the grassed area and things like that. So yes, Good. And I was like, oh God, you know, it's just that horrible feeling of as soon as the sun's out, everyone's out again. And but it's it's awful that you feel that way that you can't even go out.

Yeah, It is, It is, isn't it? But we do have to live, don't we? So it's a funny balance. Yeah, I know. And even she was like, you know, she was going to do you think we're allowed? And I'm like, that's just an awful thing for, you know, for a little kid to feel that they can't even go and enjoy the day. Yeah. Yeah. It's amazing what the six months has done to us, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah I had my staff development day last week and we sort of put that off and put it off and put it off, it was supposed to be july but it's finally happened and we had a beautiful day and we'll let this biggest state and it was one of the first functions they held because they opened in december last year after a new owner had bought it and obviously only had like three months of trade before they got shut down. Yeah and so they have struggled their way through and they opened as a restaurant again and their accommodations just opening but we were their first conference functions so yeah it was exciting for them and they looked after us so well and we got a tour of the grounds and they did a cocktail cocktail session with the bartender with us and it was a good bonding day but the fact that they survived right.

Oh my goodness. That in itself is huge. Yeah. Look I don't think they would have except that the owner has a secondary business in public health so that business is going fine and he's just sort of pulling all the money out of that one to put into this one. Yeah. Right far out because when you just invest millions into buying a hotel in a state um and then you get shut down within months. Yeah. How stressful. So yeah I guess there were all sorts of stories like that coming out, People who have made it through and people who haven't and people who've thrived and people who have struggled and people who have pivoted and all of that. I know and I hope that they do feature some of those stories of people that have survived. I think that will give, you know, even the ones that are hanging on by a thread, a bit of hope. Yeah, yeah. I'm just wondering where they would be featured in the sunday paper. Yeah, yeah. Or even just in the local communities and people talking about it, you know?

Yeah, so it was good. Um, the owner came and spoke for half an hour to my staff, so they got a good understanding. So I suppose some word of mouth happens that way as well. So all my staff will go away and talk to someone about the day and about the location and all of that. And we had Marie Macpherson come along and be one of our guest speakers who we've had on the podcast. Yes, she was great with them and she talked about the power of possibility or the pillars of possibility, which was good Because then I utilized that and we talked about some of the wish lists, things that they all had that they would like implemented in the business. So the next 12 months should be interesting if we can implement some of those fingers crossed, that sounds exciting, hmm, how are you, how are you going to measure it all? Like your success. And have you got measures for that? Some of them will have some measures, there'll be some natural metrics behind it. But I think that as funny as it is, you know, the vibe of the place and people's happiness is a good measure.

Yes. Hard to put a quantifiable thing on it, but yeah. Mm No, it's showing you're just no rights that it got instinct. It's great to have you been going with all the onboarding of your big clients? Oh my God, You know what? It's a lot. It's all happened at once, right? Yes. So yeah, literally were on onboarding phase at the moment locking in dates for the next quarter. And, but it's, it's all going really, really well and had a couple of intro sessions and actually we did a session with King living just last week with all of their victorian team. Yeah. Good Because they're all closed. So that was really nice. And we had about 40 people on that one. Yeah. Yeah. They would have been jumping and doing something that was a little bit different, I suppose. Yes. What They've done is they're doing like a seven week program for them. That's outside of mine. I was just number three out of the seven with like, random things like the week before mine, they did, they had someone doing cooking with them, like this little chef person that came in and yeah.

And then they're doing some art stuff. So like every week they're doing something just to keep them engaged because they're all still, yeah, I'm not working. Mm hmm, yep. Well that's great that they're really thinking of them. I think that that's something that's really coming out as well, like the good employers that I'm going above and beyond to keep people engaged rather than just sending them home and going, you know, I'm able to pay you. Exactly. Yeah. So yeah, busy, busy few months ahead to the end of the year. It's like a little race now just to finish, it is downward slide for sure with no brakes. Yes, Absolutely. Alright, let's jump straight into the conversation I had with Suzanne Carol. Um She has lots of energy. So I hope everyone loves this. She says that like many women of her age, she had humble beginnings and just started in secretarial school, ended up doing a business diploma, working her way up through various corporations, did a lot of selling of advertising and marketing.

But then she ended up having a experience of severe bullying which resulted in a mental breakdown and she took leave for quite a while and then she was looking to return like the end of that was sort of coming to a close and she had to go back into the workforce but she thought she was too old to easily find employment and too young to retire. So she was looking around for a business and you'll hear all about it when we talk Susanne Carroll, Welcome to the podcast. How are you? Very good. Thank you. That's good. Now we're having a little bit of internet problems, so we'll see how we go. Um so you're a massive and rangers lady and we met at a lunch, which was a great event before 2020 Hit and all the changes that have happened. But I've been looking forward to our conversation because um you've got an amazing business and I believe an amazing pathway to that.

But before we jump too much into your story, Can you let me know what you wanted to actually be when you were growing up? I think? Well, I started off wanting to be a vet because I was, I really loved animals and I can remember telling my dad, I wanted to join the army. Really, I had, I had no idea. And I eventually went to college to learn shorthand and typing because that's really the path that most women my age sort of did. Um but to make it a little bit more interesting than just secretarial school, I joined because I wanted to be a medical secretary. So until I realized you had to really spell well and really spell some really, really difficult names? I mean it's hard enough saying some of the names without, you know, trying to spell them as well, even even one that I actually suffer with eosinophilic esophagitis. So it all sounds very, very dangerous and exciting, but it's just an allergy to wheat that in flames, my esophagus.

But you trusted spelling that, luckily there's a short cone, there's and it's a big E, little e, big E, so I'm alright with that, but the rest of the spelling, so I didn't go very far with that. I actually went, worked in a shop, so there's the beginnings and that was in the UK. Yes, it was, yes, I went and worked at a department store called Debenhams, which is very much like Amaya here um and found that my, my skill set certainly was in in the sales area, It was the talking, chatting that face to face contact. I um yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I started in the toy department, I went onto the menswear department, I ran the interdepartmental, I think it was called that into something like that. Anyway, the department of the menswear department. So I ran that for a little while and I sold wedgwood, so yeah, and then I went into advertising. So right, okay, so all of that, working in retail, you were getting trained and moving up and and working your way through all that, it was quite a path it seems.

Which was great. And then advertising. So how did that happen? I think I just saw um an advertisement in the local paper for a display advertising. No, it wasn't, it was classified, taking the phone call over the phone and typing out the advertisement. You know, whether you're selling a car or lounge furniture or bereavement messages, that sort of thing. So anything in the classified section, which was just wording, I type it in on a typewriter. It was very exciting when I got to go on the electric typewriter technology back then. Really wasn't the same as it is now. But yes, so I worked there and I got the opportunity to move upstairs and sell display advertising and this was all for the east born gazette and herald. So I grew up in East born, which is the southernmost part of England, just straight underneath London you go straight down towards the sea.

And yes, it was a fabulous place to grow up. It was some type of the south is their, their tagline. Yeah. Yes. The old stony beaches. The pebbles yeah. So fantastic place to grow up and great. Yeah, so department store to newspaper. Um Then what then I immigrated? Right, so this is Australia time. Yes, yes, 1987. Right. What made you make that decision? My aunt and uncle emigrated in 1969. And so my cousins would write to us and tell us all the wonderful things they were doing. So and I was six. I gave away my age, don't calculate that anybody. Um I, in my head from six years old. I always wanted to live in Australia because I wanted kangaroos in my garden. And of course when we immigrated, it was, it was all around the same time as the mad max movies.

So I expected brown earth kangaroos everywhere. Really barren and really looked back. There was no internet, there was no real research. We did no research at all. Um It was a case of, I want to live in Australia with my aunt and uncle and my cousins and that was it a dream. It was, it was, it was, you know, when that you came to, was it? Well, that was because we didn't research, I had no idea that Australia wasn't hot and sunny all over Australia. That's what I, I expected. The sun burnt land that I saw in mad max. I think the week before I immigrated I bought a pair of jeans in case you didn't sell jeans in Australia. And I also bought the single, the record of bohemian rhapsody just in case you hadn't heard of Queen. So I really had no, no idea of what it was, which is silly because I had seen photographs from my aunt and uncle over the, over the years of, you know, camping at late fines and you know, all the things that they did.

So, but it was just this perception of Australia. So yeah, so I got off the plane and I mean sixth of March, 1987 and I felt I'm home. I'm home. I love it here. And it's actually it's actually quite normal. It's actually quite inhabited because I hadn't done any research. I had no idea that Melbourne actually did get snow in some places and it did get cold in the winter. I thought I was going to come here and live in shorts. Isn't that amazing at home? As soon as you? Absolutely, Yeah. And I've never, ever looked back. I've never looked back. I've never all this sort of the bad things that have gone on through my life. I've never gone, I'm going home. I've never felt like that at all. So, and I actually believe it's because my soulmate was here. So it took me quite a few years to find him.

Um yes, I found him about 16 years ago. So yeah, I think that's probably what it was. Good, lovely. Happy and settled because we want you here. I'm not going anywhere. So that's, so what did you do once you landed in Australia? Did you come with a job or you have to find one? No, I had to find one. Um My uncle used to take us to work and so I could use their typewriter to sort of write up any applications and things like that. My first job was with the U. B. D. Street directories because they were called Gregory's back then. And so they gave me a company car. They gave me three times more money than I would get in England. I just thought I'd died and gone to heaven. And they gave me a week's training on you know this is this map and this is this map and this is this book and then on the friday the friday they gave me a box of cards and they said here we are season, here are your customers, see you next week.

And of course the U. B. D. Street Directory. So I spent my first six months well probably longer than that. However long it was driving around Melbourne with the U. P. D. Open on my on my on my lap because you didn't have GPS or anything like that visiting customers. And I would, I know one day I made an appointment with what I call the prayer and news agency because I find that and I said is that the prayer and news agency? And I went what the Pran oh yeah. Oh yeah. Is that what I how you pronounce it? So I made an appointment with them at 10 o'clock and 11 o'clock I made it Frankston. So I very, very quickly learned my way around Melbourne that I know I know it really, really well now. Yeah. I think that I had a Gregory's when I first started driving and had it open on my lap and you know you pinch it between your leg and the steering wheel. It was a hand me down one and I eventually upgraded to the U. BD one because there were so many things that weren't on it because it was old things changed so quickly.

You know, we didn't have the freeway going from glen Waverley to the city. Yes, so much. So much has changed. So yeah, so I left it I think I was there a year or so and then I went because I missed my job back in in England at the herald that I went and worked for the Melbourne herald. Great. And I sold advertising for a display advertising again for them, but it just wasn't the same. Any spawn. We got to design the advertisements and it was all that like cut and paste and you know, cutting out pictures and sticking them on the paper and I loved all of that. I was I think probably quite creative in inside. So yes, so I went and worked for them and then I fell pregnant with my daughter. So I, yeah, I stopped working for a time, but I bounced in and out of jobs after that. I've been made redundant seven times in my career just from working with small businesses being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So, but it's always been in sales but I don't actually like selling. So yeah, isn't that a very unique situation to be in particularly well, I suppose sales is moving more and more towards just extension of serving a customer, isn't it what their needs are and you meet them? Yes, you do And and customer service is very important to me and and really is that my main driving force with cool clutch as well anyway. But yes, sales. So when I, my last job before I started the business was in marketing. So I started with that business in the customer service area and I found that I had moved into customer service by this time because I've worked for coca cola looking after their vending machines in victoria and Tasmania and I worked for a gold refining company in there as a customer service.

So I found that customer service was really where I was most comfortable. So I started with my last employer that I had in customer service. And then I moved into marketing and I remember when I moved into marketing thinking this is it, this is the job that I have been looking for all my life. I absolutely loved it. I would make flyers and but it was very hands on because because I was responsible for all of Australia and it was very hands on. There was a very sort of strategic at that at that time it was more doing rather than you know organizing anything else. So yeah, so I was there for 10 years. Right? So that was the job that immediately before you went out to do cool clutch. Yes that's when it went pear shaped. Yes. So what was the pear shaped issue? What made you leave? Because it sounds like you've found your perfect spot. I did. I did, I did. I just, I'm not 100% sure why but I seemed to no longer fit the mold.

And I had a particular person in the business that wanted me out and she bullied me and belittled me and put more work on me. And she actually moved herself to become my manager so she could micromanage me and because I kept achieving so all my KPI s I was like I would meet, she would put in in place things that I couldn't possibly. So I was terribly stressed about that. And eventually I think after about two years I had a nervous breakdown. So I had a breakdown where I just, I couldn't, I couldn't leave the house. I um to get to the letter box and back was to be celebrated because that was a good day. Yeah. My husband would often take me to work and I would sit in the car because he didn't want to leave me at home and I was on work cover for 17 months. So yeah, it was a really difficult period of time.

Were you with your work cover able to go on like a bullying claim or was it purely like stress? They didn't want to look at the cause it was, it was deemed to stress bullying is really hard. It's a real fine line between extremely bad management skills. So yeah, it's a difficult area, but it was just the fact that I just had overworked myself. I'd worked all the way through christmas, I'd worked evenings because I wasn't going to fail everything that they loaded me with. I was, I was going to achieve and I actually was some, yeah, I was just doing too much. So yeah, so I um I had a, an approved claim, so I was on work cover for For 17 months, which is a process I would not wish on my own enemy. It's um, it probably made me sicker to be honest. It was really hard process to go through, but I had never had a choice.

I was too ill to do. No, no. Um and after 17 months, they, they sent me off to what they class as an independent medical examiner who said, oh yes, you're, you're well enough to return to work. But the law here is that after a year your employer can seize your employment. So they had already done that in the june. This was october and so they said, yeah, you can return to work, so we're ceasing your payments on the 27th of october off you go, thank you very much. And of course I was still a sort of a bit of a wreck, a better record than I was previously because I was getting better. But yeah and I thought I'm going I'm going to do what we're gonna do. They give me like they gave me like three months warning that they were going to cease my payments. So I had these three months of thinking ship what we're gonna do. So I started to sell things around the house things that we weren't using tables and chairs and and it was all over you know on facebook marketplace is and you do um you'd negotiate by text or messenger.

I thought I could do this. This is great. I've just got to find something I can sell online and and then then I can still do I can work for myself just earning some some money I'm too I'm too young to retire and I'm too old to get a job and really if I have sat in an interview and said I've just been on work cover for 17 months for stress related injury, I wouldn't employ me. So I'm a very honest person. So I would have had to have disclosed that I felt so I thought I'm not I'm not ever going to get another job so I need to find something to do. So on the 30th of october 2000 and 15 I woke up and I said to my husband I'm gonna make a handbag I could hide my wine in. Okay okay darling thinking oh gosh here we go. Another crackpot scheme. Um And he said, oh okay, yes, that's, that's nice dear. I said can I have 10,000 of the mortgage? Because I think you know this has got legs.

And I went, he said, okay, okay, that's fine. So yeah, he's such a supporter. He is adorable. I love him to bits. But yeah, so by the end of the day I had registered, I woke up, I woke up with cool clutch in my head, I had woken up with a call by name, call my nature as a tagline. We don't use that anymore. But it was there. I knew exactly what it would look like. And so by the end of the day I got an instagram account, facebook account. Um what else did I need aware of domain name, all the things you need, you need. Id registered my business name and with the money, I went and visited my brother in Macau and organized through the internet to meet with three manufacturers from china that would meet me in Hong kong. And so I met with them and we talked about different designs and what I wanted and it took six months to get what I, what I wanted created and the stock to arrive.

And for my first order. And along along the way I realized that there's no other handbag in the world that has a removable cooler pocket inside it. So I knew I had something that nobody had and so that was one of the things I did was I met with an ip lawyer and got some advice and we now have an innovation patent in Australia, which isn't enforceable unless it's examined. So we've had it examined and now we are going through the process of patenting cool clutch in 38 countries. So we do think we do well, I intend on world domination. Yeah, my, my belief is that everybody needs a cool clutch because whether you're carrying a packet of Panadol or a bottle of water or your lipstick, it all needs to be kept cooler than, than the degree days that we get here absolutely Panadol needs to be all medication needs to be kept under 25 degrees.

How do you do that when you can't be in your hand bags in the car, you know, in a hot summer day. So yeah, yeah, no, I completely agree. I think it's absolutely amazing that you sort of had this download overnight and you just saw it all and you, then I had the confidence to go and do it. I mean from not being able to get to the letterbox to being able to go and meet with manufacturers in Hong kong. You just knew, you know, well, I had, I just, I knew I had to do this or die really, it was so important. And what I mean by then we were like, You know, 17 months down the track. So I was looking at the healing process. What would be good for me to do? What can I feel I can do and getting on an airplane. I must admit it sounds all very brave. But my husband sort of delivered me to one side of the airport and my brother picked me up from the other side of the airport. So yeah, the rest. I just had to swallow my guts and go, yeah, I'm going to do this.

Yeah. Well, it's the strength to do it despite the fear, isn't it? Because we're, it is probably a lot of us are really quite anxious a lot of the time and we just either do things anyway. Or maybe there are a lot of people who were not doing what they feel they should. Mm hmm. But I'm so glad that you followed like this urge to do this because you're your bags and they're so like designer looking that with the functional element. I agree world domination is where you're headed. I mean, there's no question. Certainly the plan, how I'm going to do. I'm not quite sure. But my determination is there. I just hope I'm not too old to enjoy it all because even our electronics get affected by the heat. Like the phones get heated up too much. My last Macbook in the cold started getting these little plasma lines through it. And I couldn't use the screen anymore. So all those things like the extremes of heat and cold in Australia. Um yeah, a bit, it needs protection, doesn't it, definitely, yeah, and it's funny because the first, the first bags that I brought in and I was right at the very beginning, it was all about wine, it was all about this hair bag has to be the size of, you know, the wine bottle, and it's got a bottle of wine, and how many bottles, And I still do measure the bag content with, well this will hold three bottles of wine, or this will hold two bottles of wine.

And I, I went to the Brisbane market and I had a stall at the Brisbane market with my first products and it was a really good way, I knew that being online only I had to understand my customer, I had to really sort of get feedback from people, so I would stand there and I would show people, and that was my main driver, to be there to show people and get sort of people's feedback. And I remember ladies saying, I've got, no, I'd say, oh look at this, this is just got my wine in it. And somebody said, oh, I put my lunch in that and I went, oh, that's a good idea, I really thought about that. And then another lady would say, oh my husband is a diabetic and I'd carry his insulin in my handbag and I'd go, yes, great, so it really did expand from just talking people. So it was really right at the very beginning. So yeah, I think everybody in the world needs one.

Yeah, it's a really important element. And I love that you named them female names. That's a lovely little thing as well. Yes. Yeah, it is, it is terribly attached to them because there was, I started off by calling them all by my family. Now. All of those bags are now gone because I've improved them and I've been, you know, so I'm actually reusing some of them. They've been gone for like five years. So I am reusing some of those names. But um, I tend to, I asked my facebook followers and they were the ones that I've got a new laptop, handbag that's coming in in the next couple of months. And yeah, I know. And I've asked our facebook followers, what would you like? A handbag named after you? And of course, you know, stream of comments. And so we do. I think we're naming in this next range. We've got about four or five of our facebook followers with bags named after them for them to, isn't it?

Well, it is lovely. It just, it makes it makes it nice. It makes it special. They are so important to us, all of our customers, any customer, anybody, you know, if if I didn't have them, we'd have nothing. But one of the bags, one of the ladies wrote and said you should call a bag. Gwendolyn. That's a nice name, she said because my granddaughters middle name is Gwendolyn, which is named after the two nanas. So Gwenda and Lynn and I went, I've got to have a Gwendolyn in my range and so I have a bit of a lunatic I think because I sort of get all my samples out and go now, who wants to Gwendolyn? And I go, yeah, I think you do, I can tell by the look on your face. So we've now got this most beautiful terracotta colored laptop handbag coming, that's going to be called Gwendolyn. So it's quite, it just brings personality to my products and it helps me explain them, but they've become my girls. And when I do actually run out, we've just run out of Olivia.

And she was named after my nephews daughter. And when I sold my last one I cried no more Olivia could we're not going to repeat Olivia, you know? So yeah, there is a good side. And the downside. Yeah, well like you said, you bring the name back around and maybe it's the new and improved. I might have to, Well we are actually, we've got a we've got a laptop, handbag backpack coming in and we had a maddie backpack. And so her bigger sister, which is also black is now called Madeline. So it's just the biggest sister. So I've been able to use that name because I've got to have a bag called after my daughter. Otherwise it wouldn't be right, Absolutely great. I can't wait to have a look at some of the new laptop bags, it'll be in a new bag for me. All good, good, good. Um, so Having a look back on your journey and everything that you've done and where you've got to now, what would you tell your 21 year old self?

I would, I would say to her, just follow your gut, I think it's, I use my gut instinct an awful lot in in this. Um, and I don't know that I would tell her to change very much about her life, even the bad part because that's helped me grow so much. So, yeah, really? You do have to follow your gut instinct on most things because it's it's nearly always right. Mm. Yeah. Well, even like you say, you're asking your samples, what do you know, who wants to be this one? I mean, it's a bodily feeling, isn't it, that you get? Yeah, it is. Yeah, I like that. So now that you're well, do you have a daily check in or something that you regularly do to make sure you stay well or to check in to see how you're going. Um Not really. Well, yes, I do. I walk the dog.

I walk the dog. We have a 15 month old labradoodle puppy who is extremely demanding. And if if I didn't walk her every day and it really is, it's a lovely way of starting my day. I have, I have the luxury obviously with my own business of saying, I don't start till 10. So you know, I don't have to jump out of bed at six o'clock to do anything mad, you know, early morning, I get up and we have an hour walk in nature. It's, it's part of now that we've got into that routine. If I don't do it, I really, I really miss it. But I think on the path to actually being a lot better. I did connect with a hypnotherapist and we did clean out an awful lot of, you know, bad feeling and yeah, so working with her has been really important. So I do check in with her probably six monthly now where I go and have a session with her. But it just, yeah, don't harbor any, don't harbor any ill feeling about anything.

You need to get it out because if you, if you don't get it out it can, it can sit inside you and it can eat away. Well, well, good. Yeah, I love the walking in nature. Your puppy has been very well behaved today. Yes, frozen bone. Really, really tricker. She looked at it and say what is this is a good trick. Hopefully her tongue stuck to get out there and she stuck to something so cool clutch dot com dot au is the place where people can check the bags out. You can go that way. The actual website is called clutch dot net, but I do own 17 domain names. So you can go dot co dot UK and still get to me. So world domination is coming. Yeah, absolutely. Yes, definitely. You're on facebook so you've got lots of followers there. Yes. Cool. On facebook, we are the cool clutch on instagram.

We're cool underscore clutch. Excellent. So I didn't realize it was going to make so much, so much difference when I actually did this five years ago. Yeah, Well, I mean there aren't many cool clutches around. So I suppose people get there one way or the other. Yes, yeah, yeah, they do. Yeah. When you google us, you find us all over the place. But certainly our facebook is where most things happen. Fantastic because I want everyone to go and check those out particularly. So watch out for the Gwendolyn and the melissa. Fantastic. Gwendolyn is calling to me already and I haven't even seen it. Um, and if anyone relates to your story particularly around the work cover, is there somewhere where you're happy for them to connect with you email or Absolutely, yeah, yeah, I, I can be found anywhere through the website, any, a messenger on facebook. I'm the human behind the messenger as well.

So, um, yeah, there's only, there's only myself and Belinda. So we're not a big multinational company with no face yet. So um, and I don't intend that to ever happen. I will always, I'll always be around but certainly connect with me through linkedin or facebook, but I'm always happy to, to talk to anybody about any part of my journey and if there's anybody that is struggling being a new business owner and just need somebody to, you know, work with all bounce ideas off, I'm what I'm always, I'm always around, that's a lovely offer, thank you so much. Um, and thank you for sharing your story and your time, you're welcome, okay or tell us how much you loved Suzanne, I love everyone. She was really good. I really enjoyed listening to the podcast. I think it was such a good, a good story, wasn't it? Like, and it's not where I thought it was going to go either in terms of like how she set the business up and it's funny like, you know, potentially, you know, you have a, I don't know, think in your head of, oh yeah, they probably just worked their way up or you have this idea, but her story is just so unique and who would have thought that that incident led to this?

Well that's right and she talks about really feeling like a do or die situation, like she was, it's one of these stories where you find your place in a really tight spot and you either come out fast and furious and get something off the ground or you fade into early retirement. Um, and she certainly just went bang, didn't she totally, Yeah, I mean it was such a, such a good story. Um I liked how she was saying, you know, when she was in the beginning of the school and she couldn't spell yes. Yeah. The spelling of the medical term, the selling of the medical terms. But it's it's just it was really nice to hear. You know, you couldn't, she couldn't have predicted where she was going to go really. And that was, it was almost like bounced from one thing to do in a situation that led her to her next thing. Yeah. And it's quite a theme, isn't it? When people reflect and what advice they give to their 21 year old selves.

I think a lot of them have said and Suzanne said as well that you know, she looks back and wouldn't have changed a thing. Like it's just been her path. Mm hmm. Yeah. I wonder um you know what that person that bullied her is thinking now? Well, it doesn't really matter, doesn't it? No, But I mean it's just, you know, do you look at it as well, You know, look at what this person is achieved and yeah, and sometimes success is the best revenge. But on the flip side it sounds like that person just had something against her and would never recognize any achievement whatsoever. So it doesn't, again, how much do we care about what other people think? No, I know, but let's just, you know, listening to that story. Part of me was like, I wonder what that person does think. Like, do they think you know, made a mistake? Was that person going through something bad in their life? Yeah, who knows. I mean and when Suzanne experienced it, I suppose it was before or around the time of Me too when people were starting to talk more about workplace culture.

But I still think that while we're able to talk more about sexual harassment and that sort of thing, we're not really able to so much talk about bullying between the same gender. Yeah. I wonder if there will be more over time. I guess there will be about, you know, bullying between the same gender as opposed to like a power play between genders which is more openly spoken about. Yeah, I agree. She reminded me of my story. So I had a workers comp claims put in against a female manager I think I've spoken about on the podcast before. Um Yeah, but it was when I was just before I had the idea and it was a similar story. It was just one of those things that, you know, you can do nothing right? And remember her. I remember coming to work, she'd say to me, you know, I've been up I'm really tired. I was like why? She goes, I've been up since three am correcting your work. And it was literally like red pen corrections and you do you get to this point of going, oh my God, I just can't deal with this anymore, put the claim in and then your whole confidence is not.

So I think You know, Okay, yes. She had what, 17 months off right after. Yeah. And I think to come back after that as strong as she has and believe in yourself is massive. Yes. And I mean the whole process we work cover can be very degrading within itself, isn't it? So it's trauma on top of trauma in many ways. Absolutely. I mean part of me wishes I didn't even do it. You're right. It's not a nice process to go through and then where mine was because it was in the government, we had the insurance person in house, so we're self insured. So I was like on level two and workers comp was on level four, everyone's mates, you know, it's just it was awful, it was awful experience. And yeah, I remember, I remember when that finished um I had the same thing, I'm like, oh my God, I wonder what I'm gonna do for a job now and I'm never going to do a job like that again. And I was like, you know what, I'm just going to go be a woolley's checkout person because no one can fault me and say that I'm doing that wrong and you know, Yeah, it's just an awesome story of how she has fought back and you know, really come through.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I love how much support her husband gave her. I think that it's just amazing. You know, I do find that there are a lot of women particularly, you know the solo opener, small business women whose husband just thinks it's a hobby and it's just a nonsense and there's no support, but he straight up 10 grand off the mortgage. There you go. What I'm backing that is awesome. Yeah, that was really nice. Yeah, I was having a look um last night actually just was going to bed up. Let me go see what they look like. These awesome bags that have been spoken to. Yes. Yeah, so I did the same because I've had the, the penny sitting around. Yeah, I just held it up guys, you can't see it. I've had the penny sitting around for about 12 months and it's been, you know, one of these things where you're like, oh, it's too nice to use, you know, the perfume you never use because it's too nice. And I just went, when I re listened to Suzanne again, I'm like, no, this is now my new laptop bag good.

Yeah, so I've chucked out my other one, I've had the other one for a couple of years and so this one's in rotation now, awesome colors. Yeah, yeah, that's right. I love it. So do you use it for food? What do you use it for wine? Um, no, I'm using it for my electronics. Oh, okay. Mm hmm. So I don't really drink. So that doesn't apply to me. And I probably, my lunch is too big for the bag. So it's a perfect briefcase size to slip your laptop in, slip your diary in your charges in the bottom. I've got my other hand bag. So good to go. Oh good. It's good. Yeah. Yeah. I had a look. I'm like, okay, what do I need to buy? Yes, I'm looking forward to. I think she's getting rid of the briefcase line. Like she says they just discontinue briefcases and they'll be slightly bigger laptop bags. So I'm looking forward to one of those. Yeah, the backpack looks good as well.

Yeah. Yeah. Really practical stuff. And like beautiful designer leather. I don't know why I put it away for so long. You too good to use. Yeah. I thought it was really cute how she, when she was talking about talking to the bags and picking the names. Yeah, That's very intuitive. Yeah. Really? You know, and just going, going with that and going your, you look like you feel like the name of the band. Yeah, I find it fascinating to. And I guess it's a way of bringing in the creativity and play into the business. I mean, it's not all seriousness, is it? And to be creating such beautiful things and having so much fun with it. I mean it's um I mean we don't have many people on that actually sell a physical product either. And so even that alone in itself is like just a little bit mind bending for me. Yeah and I like how she's going to be evolving as well.

You know like the ideas she was saying that came through you know using it for insulin for diabetics and medication and you can use it for all sorts of things. That's it world domination. Um I also love the concept of home and how she felt immediately when she arrived in Australia that it was home even though her expectations were so different from reality and it was so different from what her experience had been. Um That again it feels like the intuitive, you know gut feel that this is the right place. I also love that she talked about that. Yeah but you can see that she is intuitive right? I mean you know you look at the designs, you look at the names and there's a whole heap of intuition and creativity going on. Yeah and I think there's a lot of lot of Eq Nous in there as well and then balanced out really well with all of the I. Q. And the smarts to build the business that's right to just power on and make it happening and I like how you know it's it's still Australian owned and it's small and you know, I think that is what's gonna set her apart is that person behind the business and looking at the website yesterday, even her, you know, the buyer was really quirky and you know, you could see, you could feel the energy from just reading that saying, you know, you'll see me wearing that snowflake and snowflakes necklace and earrings and this cute little picture of her.

So yeah, I think, and I think, you know, you tend to want to buy and support businesses like that, don't you? That's right. Buy from someone you like and her personality is key and she said it herself as well that even though she wants world domination, she still wants to be the person that people contact and she's the one behind the instagram account behind the social media and it's her that you're dealing with, which is great. Um hmm, yeah, really, really good. Looking forward to picking something. We got so many good ideas from all of podcast guests. Actually just bought just last week, Jackie Olders little diary journal thing. Yeah, yeah, I bought a couple of those from my scarf, last christmas. Yes, so great. And I mean now we're all going to get cool clutch bags for christmas. Love it. There is, there is a bag that she's called Rochelle, which is one of my staff and it's a name that's not, you know, it's not a standard name, it's usually Rachel, but she's gotta Rochelle and I think Rochelle will be really excited.

Yeah, it's got your name all over there. No, it doesn't have the name on the bag, you know, it's got called clutch, hasn't it? On the front, there is a Jackie, but it's spelled differently, so there's still a possibility that I'll get one in there. Yeah. And what was your suggestion via text after you listen to it? Um yes, a combination of our two names and then I said, no, what about you? I totally think we should put a suggestion in for a unique name. It sounds like fun. Oh God, yeah, really good. Yeah, it's just so inspiring, isn't it? Like a feel good story? Yeah, very much so, yeah, it's certainly leaving me on a positive, so it's good. So on that positive note, what else have you got going on? Oh gosh, so I will be, what else have I got going on this week?

Yeah, more onboarding is going on this week. Um there's going to be a big week. Um and then what else have I got on? I'm working on our book. There you go. Actually. Preplanned time. I did two yesterday in the last few days, so that's been really good. It's just been, it's just been nice. Yeah, going back and reading them and yeah, exciting, exciting on you. Yeah, it always falls to the bottom of my list. Well, you know what saying? It's just one of those tasks, right? But I've really got into the whole pre blocking time at the moment and it's working quite well. Some sort of rotating certain pre blocks every week for sort of creativity stuff. Mm Great. Yeah, yeah, I am the subject matter expert this month for rebel blacks. The rural woman community, lovely, yep. So focusing on providing a whole lot of value and information for all the women in there, which is great.

So that's me for the month. And the other thing that I'm doing, which is a little bit different for me is we've got local council elections all coming up and I've been asked to be like the facilitator for the five local candidates and they're like debate really. Yes, it will be different on zoom. Obviously on zoom because we can't have life. Well zoom and it will be streamed live onto the community pages and I mean it's a different way of getting myself out there, isn't it? I mean people, no, I was like, she's kept that one quiet. People won't really take too much notice of who's facilitating. I don't think that yes, they do. They might, if it's you, they will. When is that happening? That's exciting. Midweek next week, wow. So I get to ask all the questions and you know, it'll be great on zoom because I can just mute people as well.

Gotta pay attention though. Right? Yes, I will, I will. So yeah, a few interesting things coming up, but you learn how to do break out dreams and zoom. Random question No, I've never had to do them before. I participated in them obviously. But I think that previously people chose which room you went to, but now you can choose your own, I think is a new feature you're going to chuck them in rooms or no, no, I don't think so. I think that everyone needs to be on screen. Mm hmm. So what's happening exciting? Yeah. And we would love people to go and check out Suzanne, obviously at cool clutch, Go and get your christmas presents dot net. Yes. Dot net. All places lead to her, which is great. Um, and if anyone would like to continue the conversation, particularly around bullying, if anyone's got a similar experience or wants to talk to one of us or Suzanne, please reach out. Um, you can comment on our podcast at eq eq dot com dot au or we're both on linkedin.

Otherwise, where can people find you? Sh E Q academy dot com dot au. Yeah. Um, and the best place to find me is still to be a law dot com dot au. Direct web direct emails are all there. So great to chat. I love this one, as always. Thank you. Yeah, have a great Fortnite then I will. And you

Ep 42 When it Gets to Do Or Die
Ep 42 When it Gets to Do Or Die
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