If you are anything like me, when I heard there was such a thing as The Stevie Awards, I was over all that like on Obeid on a mining lease. Anything that champions the awesomeness of Stevie Nicks is all good by me (*Disclaimer, I have found out since the Stevie’s do not relate to Stevie Nicks AT ALL. TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT). Turns out that The Stevie’s are the world’s biggest business awards and I won a bronze award for Service Company In Australia at the recent Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, presented in Seoul.
But this is not about that.
I have not really thought too much about what I do differently in my 13 years of being a biz owner to my competitors, I just focus on producing my very best work every time and of being of service to my clients, project after project, day after day.
But if I had to sum up, my business advice can be distilled as this:
- Don’t get your semi-trailer containing your Motor Show stand hijacked by two hookers in Perth.
- Take your own food and snacks to site. I swear I once ate a burger made of cat at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. It was epically bad. And I gave up eating meat for 8 months afterwards.
- The most important two words in any business is thank you. Use repeatedly and more than you think you should.
To follow my own advice, I have a cavalcade of thanks:
- To my team Fiona, Anastasia, Lisa, Dave and Trudy I am so lucky to have the support of such talented and hardworking team. They truly embody the Diva manta of “We love being of service” and “Will there be cake?”.
- To my Mum, Dad, my sister Emma and my Aunty Christine. They had to endure me as I grew up turning my room into an exhibition space where I displayed my artwork for sale…and then claiming it back once they had purchased it. They have loved and encouraged me when I decided I was going to make art my career and any success I have is shared equally with them.
- To the Diva Council. Most of my friends appear on the council, along with mentors, coaches (Denise, Victoria, Koach Kim, Nathan the Demonic Personal Trainer) and rowing squad. I glean so much inspiration, direct and sometimes indirect advice from them. A recent addition to the Council has included Colleen who I sat next to on a flight to Singapore and after a fine time drinking the champagne stash dry in business class, leaned across looked me squarely in the eye, clutched my hand in hers and said “whatever you do, make it FUN!” Who knew that a modern-day sage would be wrapped in Chanel and was just back from drifting down the Ganges and would be sitting next to me?!? I love these type of random messages from the most unlikely sources.
- To my suppliers and collaborators. I am not prolific on the supplier or collaborator front, I tend to use the same team over and over as they can interpret my most whacktactular idea into something able to be built. And they are a joy to work with. Joy is seriously underrated in business. Why deal with complete muppets and people who suck your awesome when you can work with a team that take pride in their work, want to be supportive and come up with simple solutions to complex problems?
- And most importantly to my clients. I am so ridiculously lucky to have a first class client list that trust me to bring their display projects to life. I thank them for believing in a sketch and ideas played out with exaggerated hand movements, scrapbook torn images, quick drawings on the back of notepads and word pictures. As the role of marketing is increasingly stretched, I love being of help and trying to find ways that I can at least wipe some elements off your to-do list and prove that the marketing department is not just a cost centre but is the funnel that all orders, purchases and money flow into a business.
And over to you dear reader…thank you. I have no idea how you manage to carve out the time to read this semi regular blog when you could be reading the ingredient list of packaged cheesecake, writing letters to Christopher Pyne with the plea for the love of God to just SHUT IT, or running up a new frock on the Singer. I know that there are so many things competing for your time and I am truly grateful you spend some of your precious time reading my words.
Want to see an excitable foxy terrier trying and compose herself post award? Check ME out!
See you next week!