How many identities do you have?
· Mumma to my beautiful babe Gracie
· Wife to my incredible husband of 8 years, Steve
· Director of Abel Projects WA
· Director of Vision Imports & Agencies
· Lead singer of “The Brooklyn Collective”
· Performer / Entertainer in the Perth Music Scene
· Charity fundraiser (Radio lollipop and Alzheimer’s WA)
· Family obsessed. My family are my rock
Tell us a bit about your story and how you’ve got to where you are now?
I used to think that life had many ups and downs…..and then I entered the business world and realised just how little I actually knew. My journey in business thus far has not been a simple journey to success. There have been many ups and downs, and it is the choices that I made during each of those low points that have helped shape what I have achieved in life. Regardless of the hurdles and challenges, I am extremely grateful for each and every one of them, as they have taught me that no matter what I face, I have a choice. A choice to learn and grow from defeat, or a choice to sit and wollow and let negativity run a horrid marathon around my head. To this day, I think back to some of those seriously challenging moments and know that each of them were necessary:
1: So I could learn to toughen up (I was genuinely as soft as butter)
2: To learn that not everything is going to go the way you planned, simply because you planned it 3: So I could learn the hard way that “If its meant to be, its up to me”
I started my entrepreneurial journey roughly 11 years ago where I ran a business alongside my husband and a separate business in music. Life consisted of a 7 day a week work schedule and very little time to chill and simply unwind. As much as the businesses were doing well, this started to take a serious toll on me physically and mentally and I started to loose myself in between the challenges of running a business, juggling all of life’s ups and downs as well as trying to discover who I was and what I actually wanted in life. After some 6 years of operating at this level, things took a horrible turn and we were forced to close down our main business. This was a seriously eye opening moment where I found myself asking “why”?
Why did this happen?
Why is there nothing I can do to stop or change this?
Why are we in this position?
What I didn’t realise, is life has a funny way of slapping you in the face with the lessons you need to learn, especially when you are not capable of identifying these yourself.
From that moment, it made me realise that life is not just about sacrificing yourself and what you want to “appear” successful. It made me realise “success” is defined in many different ways.
Its about, appreciating the small moments in your day that make you feel at peace and content
Its about sharing a moment with someone you love and laughing until your face hurts
Its about getting excited to be a part of a new day and knowing that you are in control of how you spend that day.
Now, I see the world in a completely different light, and I am extremely thankful for it.
What has been your most challenging moment in life thus far?
The last 2 years have been a real eye opening time for me.
Abel Projects WA was in creation mode and my other business Vision Imports and Agencies was at the forefront of some ground breaking advances. I felt that things were settling down and the many years of rebuilding were starting to come to fruition. As I was about to enter full flight mode, my husband Steve was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Our whole worlds were turned upside down. Not only were we struggling to comprehend where this had come from, we were also struggling to comprehend where to from here. Life came to a holt and in that moment we had nothing but each other. It was at this moment I realised just how darn special my husband was. They say “in times of crisis, someone’s true character shines” and I will remain in awe of this man for the rest of my life. Steve has always lived by the philosophy “If you can’t control it, don’t let it control you”. I couldn’t believe someone that had just been given this news was so positive and in control of his path to recovery. Sure, this is a seriously scary time for anyone, but he never let it get the better of him. It was in those moments that it made me realise there is no space for negativity, no room for pitty parties and no room for letting many of my 1st world problems get in my own way. The next 6 months we worked together as a team, doing everything necessary to get him on the path to recovery. After a pretty radical surgery, some rehabilitation and an unbelievably strong mindset, Steve is back to his absolute best. Little did we know, at the time of Steve’s surgery I was 5 weeks pregnant.
I honestly believe to this day that our little miracle arrived at the exact moment she was meant to. Our thoughts moved away from what we couldn’t control, to the thought of our new baby. I always live by the saying “everything happens for a reason” and I believe this now more than ever.
How do you feel stereotypes have affected women in the workplace so far?
I think we can all fall victim to being stereotyped, however it is up to ourselves and ourselves only as to how we are portrayed. We are in control of our own behaviours and the energy we create around us. If other’s choose to distort this image, is that really your concern?
There is no denying stereotyping plays a big role in society, however I am a big believer that those who stereotype are those who are still on their own journey to self-discovery. Someone who is confident in who they are and is living through truth, self belief and purpose everyday, does not have the time, need nor want to stereotype others. If anything it is the opposite.
How have you grown as a person, mentally, emotionally and spiritually since starting your career in Property?
There is more to life, than the life that exists inside my own bubble. This was the biggest life lesson I learned when entering real estate. To most people, buying and selling property seems quite straight forward. You meet with a seller, they sign your listing papers and VOILA the property pops up on realestate.com. As quite an emotional person myself, I didn’t realise that behind every seller, there is a story. I would find myself on a daily basis speaking with people in their living room about the fact their husband of 30 years has just passed away, and they had no way on maintaining the home on their own. Or a business owner who had recently hit some serious financial troubles and wanted to sell their home before the bank repossessed it. Every seller had a story and more times than not, it was a story of hurt and this to me is what made me see real estate through a totally different set of eyes. My approach moved away from simply the strategic fundamentals of selling a house, but more so to the emotional fundamentals of selling a house. To this day, I still catch up with many of my clients for a coffee or simply shoot the breeze over the phone. I have always believed that we meet people for a season a reason or a lifetime and I am so grateful to have been a part of such a monumental time in their life.
How are you leaving your mark in the world?
In the words of Lady Gaga
No one can get where they are going on their own. Every year that goes by, I am learning more and more that we need the support and wisdom of others. If sharing my story, experiences or journey helps another person find their way, then that’s exactly what I’ll do.
What would you say to all the women out there who want to start a business
I would say these 4 things
Firstly – START…………..this is the biggest hurdle many woman face. When is the right time, am I ready, have I prepared enough? The simply answer is JUST START
Secondly – There are no short cuts to a good result. Good things take time, so enjoy the ride.
Thirdly – Be prepared to have set backs, knock backs, hiccups and hurdles. Every successful business will have these and are not a failure on your part.
Lastly – Have a great bottle of wine at the ready to help with point number 3 😊