Why denying our importance hurts others

Which Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I was in the room when my mum learned she was dying.

Her doctor put her fate to her with such soft-spoken grace, I struggled to believe its gravity.

Moments before, I’d reached for her hand. Her skin felt cool, as if life had already begun to take its leave.

The doctor left us with his young nurse who shuffled papers, smiling awkwardly. Her presence bought me some time; I couldn’t remember when I had last cried. I was terrified my tears wouldn’t arrive; that I might fail in this defining moment.

I finally…

Why is it so hard to practice what we preach?

Photo by Nick Page on Unsplash

We show up as the genius, expert or world-class practitioner for everyone else. Why is there a weird disconnect in applying those principles in our own world?

There’s an old saying ‘Cobbler’s children have no shoes’ — meaning the very thing a shoemaker delivers to his customers, he neglects for his own family.

It’s true for many of us. Think about people in your circle — that guy who designed your website, what’s his own site like? Anyone know a therapist who is quietly having a breakdown? Your award winning manager — are they super self-critical? Know any comedians? They…

3 ways to boost your credibility to win an audience

A person sits in the middle of a swing bridge, high above a mountainous lake
Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

Passionate people are very persuasive. Sit down with an entrepreneur, you’ll likely leave the meeting with a fresh opinion; usually theirs.

But passion and expertise don’t always go hand-in-hand. And that can leave a credibility gap.

Passion can be the reason we start or stick with a project or life goal; it’s personal. Expertise? The stuff we use to build the house; to make the dream real.

Expertise is the substance that keeps people coming back for more. Without it, our words eventually have a hollow ring.

But what if you are in a new area where you have almost…

7 questions to ask to identify your thought leadership niche

X-factor …. Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

Most of us have a signature dish we’re famous for amongst our family and friends — something we love cooking, have lots of experience with and have added our unique twist to.

Often it is artfully simple. Whether it’s our Grandma’s apple pie, or an omelet, we’ve found a way to master it, own it and add an element that distinguishes it from everyone else’s and improves it.

Likewise, when it comes to personal brand, we should have a topic we can own — one we are passionate about and have either mastered or are on the road to becoming…

Photo by Fleur Brown

When Mum died, I felt a strange relief.

We’d been close. I lived overseas, and although I only saw her a few times each year, we talked openly about life and had the kind of bond I considered special.

The rush of freedom I felt when she passed was a surprise. Yes, her pain had stopped, and she would never have chosen to simply suffer on.

But it was more than that.

I was broken-hearted. Yet I realised in that moment I’d felt responsible for her happiness since I was a child. Now, that responsibility was over.

Then came inexplicable anger

I’d glimpsed it…

A child stands, watching his world burn. Taken during the Australian bushfires 2019
A child watches their world burn during the start of the Australian bushfires in 2019. Credit: @slsandpet via Twitter.

10 new things we need to figure out in the 20’s

What just happened — in politics, the environment and socially— has catapulted us into a very different decade.

This next decade needs to count, hard. And we can’t waste time on word-wars or politics.

Adding to our list of existing challenges (the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for a start), here’s ten new things we need to figure out fast to make our 2030’s tolerable.

10 questions for the 20's

  1. Can technologists move the needle (back) on climate change? And if we invent things that could reverse our climate fate, will the world listen? Will big industry block those innovations, or embrace them? Will venture capitalists shift their dollars into enviro-tech to help those inventions quickly scale?

When I was twenty three, I was on my way to answer a share accommodation ad, when I knocked on the door of the wrong house.

“Come in and have breakfast,” said the fun young couple inside. I liked them instantly and longed to break out of my insular group and meet more interesting people at that time. I seriously considered their offer for a few seconds — before I panicked. “I have to go — I’m already late,” I apologised and rushed off like the white rabbit to meet my responsibilities.

Waiting down the road at the correct address…

(+ why do it at all?)

person using their hands to block someone from seeing them
Photo by Philippe Bourhis on Unsplash

Let’s cut straight to the cringe – most people, including you, dislike the term “personal brand.” If you’re the exception, this post isn’t for you. Everyone else, stay with me.

I hear you: “the influencer movement is so fake,” “I don’t want to be one of those self-promoters,” — “a person isn’t a brand.”

Or how about this?

“People will think I’m full of myself,”

Or these classics :

Personal brand is just for: the beautiful … the articulate … the photogenic … the popular … the insecure … the power-seekers… the fame chasers…

We often resist giving others our crowd-pleasing act – to our financial detriment

There’s a famous scene in the Shrek movie where the once-fierce, now married and retired ogre— who has settled into fatherhood and domestic bliss with mixed emotions — is hassled by a boy at his kids’ birthday party to “do the roar.

Shrek tries explaining politely — (well, polite by ogre standards) that the roar is not part of who he is anymore. But everywhere he turns at the party, the boy is beside him, pleading “do the roar.”

Driven to rage by candy-fuelled, screaming toddlers, the…

note for the equalists, a knight can also be female … (Photo by James Pond on Unsplash)

Fast-forward past the debates about ‘born versus made’. Sure, a percentage of us wake up one teenage morning burning with entrepreneurial ambition and never look back.

For the rest of us who create or build a business, entrepreneurial endeavour usually strikes when there is quite simply no other way to solve the problem we care deeply about. Like any great love, sometimes we resist at first. But it’s there again, tapping on our window the next day, annoying the *%\~ out of us. And the next day. We sometimes can’t move forward without solving the problem.

And so, we do…

Fleur Brown

Author, Creative Entrepreneur, Founder Entrepreneurs TV & Launch Group, Founding team TEDxSydney

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