Week 24 – Kate Bracks


Introducing Kate Bracks

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I first met Kate in Dubbo after her MasterChef win and did a 58 second video with her. We’ve spoken together since at International Womens Day 2012 and every conversation I have with Kate is a joy.

Kate Bracks

Kate Bracks

Kate Bracks Is a passionate foodie who enjoys talking about food, cooking food and eating food – and feels very privileged to be able to do so. With the encouragement and support of her family, Kate auditioned for MasterChef and became the 2011 Winner, a journey Kate describes as “one of the best things I’ve ever done and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – a steep but enjoyable learning curve”.

Kate has since traveled all over Australia (and recently India) doing cooking demo’s and public speaking and created The Sweet Life (a must-read/play with book for the sweet-tooth foodie). She has also cooked with local Hatted Chef’s in her home town of Orange, NSW. The adventure continues…

Conversation between Kerrie and Kate Bracks:

How do you love to explain what you do?

The best way to describe it is as contract work. I do lots of different bits and pieces. Some of it is in the media, in advertising, cooking locally, in food festivals, in traveling around doing cooking demonstrations and public speaking. So it’s lots of little things.

What’s next in the exciting world of Kate Bracks?

My biggest excitement at the moment – I’m looking at building a business where I cook deserts and cakes and sell them through various local outlets like shop fronts or food markets and also taking special orders. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the kitchen a bit more.

Kate Bracks KitchenWhat’s a significant challenge you’ve faced & how did you approach it?

The biggest challenge was MasterChef itself – being away from the family and being put under incredible pressure to perform. The way I coped with it was to take each day as it came and break each day down into smaller pieces. In some ways life continues to be like that sometimes because of the nature of contract work, it can get very overwhelming at times because there’s a lot going on. So, I just have to take each step at a time, and take each day as it comes and gradually get through the week.

What did you learn about yourself in the process?

I learned I could actually cope with a lot more than I thought I could. I think when you are pushed outside your comfort zone and pushed beyond where you would normally push yourself, you realise you can do more than you think you can. That’s probably one of the biggest things I learned about myself.

Who are your greatest supporters?

Definitely my immediate family. My husband Luke has been an incredible support all the way through the entire journey for me. Never once has he complained or asked me not to do anything because it’s too hard for him. He just picks up where I leave off and carries on. The kids are really encouraging and supportive – they love hearing about what I’ve done. And I have some very supportive friends and family who help with child minding and praying for me and my family.

Kate Bracks Farm

Kate Bracks collects local produce to use.

Being a foodie in Orange is fantastic – I just love my town.  I love the local produce and being able to support local farmers by sourcing so many of my ingredients nearby.  I recognise that it is a unique opportunity which allows me to do a lot of work from home enabling me to undertake my favourite role …  being a mum.

How has the increasing success of your business impacted your personal/family life?

The biggest change has been from a full-time stay-at-home mum to a full-time working-mum. The impact on family time is the biggest challenge.  I try to squish my work into school hours, with varying degrees of success. When work is very busy I just have to juggle and try not drop any of the balls!

Contact Details
Kate Bracks
Website – www.katebracks.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/KateBracks
Twitter – www.twitter.com/kate_bracks



Week 23 – Grace McClure


Introducing Grace McClure

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I’m so excited to introduce you to Grace. A few years ago Grace engaged me as her coach for six months – just one of her many steps forward. Grace has grown and achieved so much because she is determined, coachable, passionate about helping others – and never gives up.

Grace McClureGrace McClure, is a coach & counselor, author, speaker, model, triathlete and Mum.
She works with people counseling, coaching and by speaking to audiences about achieving challenging goals, listening to your intuition, well-being and fulfilling your life-purpose.

Her first book, “You are a Wonderful Mother.” is based on her own inspirational life story and inspires, touches and empowers many who are reading it.
Her written word; as is all her work, is guiding and empowering you to love and listen to your inner self so you can live your own sparkling and passionate life.

Grace McClure was born and raised on a sheep and cattle station in New South Wales, and figured out early in life that having a ‘never give up on what is really important to you’ attitude can take you a long way.  It has allowed her to follow her dreams as a TV presenter, model – both nationally and internationally, complete five Ironman Triathlons, write two books and run her own business.  She is a Mum to two children and partner to her soul-mate John.

What plans do you have to expand your business further?

I am now at the stage of my business where I am employing other wonderful people more frequently so that it can grow as more and more bookings are coming in for motivational speaking and counselling/coaching.

Who are your greatest supporters?

Grace McClure and familyMy Family (My husband John and my Mum live in Melbourne so help me every day/week and my sisters, their husbands, my Dad, nieces & nephews are all wonderful too), Sponsors (Liv Giant, Giant Bicycles, CBD Cycles, Oakley, Powerbar Musashi), Coaches (Pete McKenzie, Dave Wilson, Buddy Portier), clients and colleagues.

How did you move from dreamer to achiever?

Let go. Let go of fear of not being able to do something and just do it. Let go of not knowing how to do something and find solutions instead. Believe and back myself. Trust life. Realise that money is simply a resource that I am tapping into to help others and is a wonderful thing. Focus on being of service. Stop worrying, its simply not worth it…..it really isn’t! Stop listening to negative people and focus and listen to those who are positively encouraging and supporting your expansion.

What do you believe are the essential qualities or attributes of a successful person?

More and more I define success as identifying, clarifying and living your own unique life purpose. No persons life purpose is any more or less important than anyone else’s. It always involves remembering how to love, personal growth and being of service in some way.

How does your business contribute to your community?

I live by what I teach. I believe in what Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see most in your world.” Living by that means that you take responsibility for your life, who you are and stop blaming and critising others. It means that you realise that you may not control the events that happen, the one thing you always control is how you respond to those events and this is your choice. I choose to take a positive approach. I also respect other peoples choices.


Grace McClure
Grace McClure Enterprises
Website – www.gracemcclure.com.au
Facebook – facebook.com/gracecherishlife
Twitter – graceaustralia



Week 17 – Phoebe Maroulis


Introducing Phoebe Maroulis

A note from Kerrie – “How have we not connected before now!” was the question Phoebe & I were asking just recently when we finally met, having discovered many friends and ideas in common as well as passion for creativity, inspiration and connecting. I know you’ll also appreciate Phoebe’s insights from her broad experience and her brave honesty that really encourages those around her.

Phoebe Maroulis

Phoebe Maroulis, painted by Tim Gratton, fundraising for the Pink Angels Calendar, promoting Darling Irrigation.

Cathy Smith nominated Phoebe with these words –  “Phoebe challenges me and how I think in a way that makes me want to achieve more both personally and professionally. Phoebe is relentless and determined. Nothing can distract her from her goals and dreams. These characteristic tend to be infectious to all those around her.”

Phoebe’s life’s journey represents a really diverse mix of personal development, family, community, income generation and passion, and that is just the way she likes it.

With degrees in Industrial Design and Commerce and a career path that has lead her through agripolitics, community development, the arts, running a service station, bioenergy, grazing, online retailing and everything in between, Phoebe’s journey is being enhanced through the blossoming of her business, Cicero Design.

Believing that creativity, connection and communication are the primary means of fostering vibrant rural communities, Phoebe’s passion now lies in creatively challenging the status quo in rural community development, nurturing new connections and communicating the resultant innovation in a manner that can be tailored by communities to meet their specific development needs.  Cicero Design is very much a work in progress making every day very different to the one before.

How do you love to explain your business/enterprise to others?
I don’t see myself as “running a business”, I see it as living a rich life which involves enterprise, family, personal growth & community.  The aim is to create a fluid mix of these components, each blending and complimenting the others.  When the mix is tuned correctly, income flows from these activities but more importantly my family and I enjoy the abundance and joy of life.

phoebe and sam maroulis

Phoebe and Sam Maroulis

There are multiple enterprises that make up the mix.  Darling Irrigation, which I founded with my husband Sam in 2004.  Darling Irrigation was recently named on the BRW top 100 fastest growing businesses and Sam and I are extremely proud of the contribution we are making to sustainable water utilisation throughout regional Australia.
The Macquarie Theatre is an ambitious redevelopment of an old cinema complex in the Wellington CBD.  Following 4 years of challenging work the space is now blossoming as a unique venue for the delivery of Arts based activities and events.

Cicero Design is a service business linking people, ideas and mechanisms for implementation for innovative rural community development. And in between I manage a couple of mixed enterprise properties in Wellington and one in the beautiful Western Division. Underlying all of this is a commitment to serving my local community, particularly in the area of the arts and raising three children to be balanced, resilient, joyful members of their community.

Who are your greatest supporters?
I find that the greatest support often comes from the most unlikely of sources.  As an example I ran an exhibition at the Macquarie Theatre recently that wasn’t as well attended as I had hoped.  The following day I was quite flat and a stranger came up to me in the Supermarket and told me how much she benefited from seeing the exhibition and how it had inspired her to take up painting again after a long period of not painting.  That type of support makes it all worthwhile.

Phoebe Maroulis_Papillon_KGIts corny but my kids offer amazing support.  They seem to know when I am doubting myself as a Mother and wondering if the mix is too heavily balanced away from them, and they remind me of the benefits they enjoy from having a Mother who is fulfilled, inspired and giving her fullest contribution to the world.

How does your business contribute to your community?
I am a firm believer in social capital.  I think of my life as a blend of interconnected facets.  I am fortunate that in that mix is a family business that generates enough income to allow Cicero Design to be heavily philanthropic.  I believe real joy stems from giving and I feel very fortunate that through all our businesses, but particularly Darling Irrigation, we are able to make generous contributions of time and resources to our community.

How has the increasing success of your business impacted your personal/family life?
I balance the imposition on time generated by Cicero’s increasing success with the knowledge that the ability to show my children the joy that comes from pursuing one’s passion and making a contribution to others more than balances this negative impact.  Viewing life as a blend rather than as a set of distinct demands helps enormously.

Describe a significant business (or other) challenge have you faced. How did you approach it? What did you learn?
As one who has a mind full of ideas and a burning desire to make an impact in the world outside the four walls of my home, I have found the roles of Mother and Wife very challenging at times. Recently this challenge has presented as acute panic attacks, often at the most inopportune time (such as in the middle of the children’s school swimming carnival).  The gift in these attacks is that I am now taking the time to get to know myself properly and as a result I am learning how to be kind and loving to myself.  Some days are easier than others but I am secure in the knowledge that the more aware I become of my inner realm, the greater the contribution I am able to make in the outer realm, and that makes me really excited!

Phoebe Maroulis
Cicero Design
36-42 Swift Street, Wellington 2820
Mobile – 0409 311 893
Email – phoebe[@]cicerodesign.com.au
Website – www.cicerodesign.com.au
Twitter – @PhoebeMaroulis



Week 16 – Matilda Julian

Matilda (Tilly) Julian

Matilda Julian

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I first met Matilda in a cafe in Dubbo in 2009, when she was making an offer on a property in nearby Geurie … and I’ve since reconnected with Matilda as she launched an art exhibition. Her latest big news is yet to be revealed, but there’s a significant exhibition that Matilda’s been invited to participate in… watch this space 🙂

Matilda Julian grew up in Bilpin, near the Blue Mountains, went to a public high school and went straight to Uni after finishing year 12. Matilda studied International Studies/ Law at UTS including spending one year living and studying in China. A recent move back to her property in Geurie has been welcomed by many in the creative community of the western region.

Law and Art, Lifestyle and Making a Difference

How is it that you now work as a lawyer and an artist?

I volunteered with the Aboriginal Legal Service in Dubbo, to be admitted as a lawyer and moved to Dubbo for my first job as a criminal law solicitor. I remained there for three years but became disillusioned with my limiting role as a lawyer so in early 2012 I moved to Alice Springs for a job as a youth worker. There, I felt I wasn’t using my skills, even though I was in a role to assist young people which is what I felt most strongly about at the time. I returned to NSW because I realised I should be using my skills and strengths. I moved back home to Bilpin, enrolled in a fine arts course at COFA, and obtained a role as a solicitor in a Community Legal Centre (CLC). I lasted one day at COFA and became quickly disillusioned at the CLC, because of the confinement of the role. It all made me realise I needed to help and use my strengths in my own way. I then set up my business as a sole practitioner to work from home in Geurie, and started to paint and draw again by myself and set up a studio/ office in my house.

Tilly Painting OutsideMost recently I self-funded and organised my own solo exhibition as an artist in Dubbo with Alister Dyson-Holland from Suburban Coffee Co. as a pop-up art exhibition/ espresso bar ‘Fields and Flowers’. It was a great success and made me feel that anything is possible and that I am on the right path.

What do you love about doing business from your regional location?
Working from home in Geurie, near Dubbo allows me to do all the non-work things I want to do in life such as be a foster carer, maintain my garden and vegetables, and look after my animals. I can take my dog down to the river or have a cup of tea with my neighbour Anne in my breaks. Because I live and work in regional NSW, my living expenses are low so I can afford to have this kind of balanced life.

How do you move from dreamer to achiever?
I always thought of myself as more of a dreamer. My ideas have always come and gone. I have always though had high expectations of myself and what I want to achieve so I am always sharing my ideas and trying to get others excited by them. I made the decision to work for myself because leading a balanced life is very important to me. I believe in and trust myself which allows me to make brave decisions. I also don’t have significant financial or other commitments which allows me to take bigger financial risks.

Matilda (Tilly) Julian - ArtworkOpening ‘Fields and Flowers’ though could not have been possible without collaboration. The other people involved in the project made it happen and made it successful. I feel my enthusiasm and collaboration is what can turn my dreams into achievements.

What do you believe are essential qualities of a successful person?
Success is different for everyone because everyone has different strengths and goals and dreams. I believe success comes with achievements of those dreams and using the strengths that have been given to you.

What does success mean to you personally?
My strengths are my artistic ability, my ability to communicate, and compassion. I feel successful because I am using my strengths in everything I am doing, and I have started achieving my goals.


Matilda Julian
Artist and Lawyer
Website – www.matildajulian.wordpress.com
email – matilda.julian[@]gmail.com

Check out other young achievers in the Arts and Entertainment.


Week 15 – Dale Beaumont


Introducing Dale Beaumont

Kerrie and Dale at a New Rules Of Business Event

Kerrie and Dale at a New Rules Of Business Event

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I’ve learned SO much from Dale over the years. He was 25 when we first met and he got me started on the internet, doing videos, and writing books – Dale we thank you again! So I am delighted to share some of Dale’s more recent experiences and as always, quality thoughts on life and business.

Dale Beaumont is one of Australia’s most successful young entrepreneurs. Having built three $1-million dollar businesses before the age of 30, today Dale’s the founder and CEO of “Business Blueprint”, Australia’s fastest growing business education company.

Dale is also the author and publisher of 16 best-selling books, which have collectively sold over a quarter of a million copies. Incredibly, 11 of those 16 books were published in a single year, a feat that earned him the title “Australia’s Most Prolific Author”.

As a result of Dale’s success, he has been interviewed on Sunrise, Today Show, Mornings with Kerri-Anne, Ten News, ABC Radio, Radio 2UE as well as being featured in over 100 newspapers and magazines, including Wealth Creator, My Business Magazine, AFR Boss and Virgin’s In-flight magazine.

Outside of business Dale Beaumont has passion for educating teenagers. That’s why in 2001 he co-founded Tomorrows Youth International, which runs self-development programs for 13 to 21-year-olds across six countries. To date over 27,000 young people have now been impacted by the program he started.

Finally, but most importantly, Dale is a devoted family man. He’s married with two little boys.

The New Rules Of Business

Dale Beaumont

Dale Beaumont

How do you love to explain your business/enterprise to others?

My current business, which I started at the end of 2009 is called Business Blueprint. What it does is help business owners to increase their profits by helping them to better integrate technology into their business and implement more modern forms of marketing.

To grow the company and share my knowledge with as many people as I can, I run free events across Australia and New Zealand. Rather then taking up any more space here, if you are interested in finding out more, please visit: www.NewRulesOfBusiness.com.au

How did you move from dreamer to achiever?

Having interviewed a lot of successful business people myself, it’s amazing how many of them were showing signs of entrepreneurial flair before they could grow underarm hair. Like they had a paper run at the age of seven and by nine were employing five other friends. Or perhaps trading baseball cards, washing cars or picking strawberries – all at a very young age. I was not one of those people.

My youth was spent in the sport of gymnastics. While some might say the two (business and sports) are unrelated, for me it was the perfect training ground. Through sport I learnt about the importance of discipline and hard work, why you need to get good at and learn fundamentals, and how to motivate yourself when you’re feeling down. All things you need to have within you for business success. However, in my opinion, the most important thing I learnt from my sporting career was that it is critical to have a coach.

Blueprint With Dale and booksYou see, in sport you only have a window of time when you can perform at your peak physically. Normally (if you stay injury free) it’s around ten years. So the only way to compress 30 years worth of understanding into a more compact time is to have a coach. Basically someone outside of yourself that has taken hundreds of people through the process and created dozens of champions. So with a coach you are cutting 20 years off the learning curve and in the process saving untold amounts of time, money and effort.

For me when I finished school I worked in a job for around 9 months. Even though I enjoyed it, I discovered that there was only certain things I could do because someone else was calling the shots. I felt like my creativity and desire to succeed was being squashed. So what else was there to do but become my own boss and take matters into my own hands.

So, even though I didn’t have the makings of an entrepreneurial prodigy, I did have installed in me the other success factors mentioned above. Plus, because of my sporting background, I was now on the look out for ‘business’ coaches/mentors. And that was enough for me to get going.

What is your approach to marketing and how did you (or are you) becoming known?

Dale Business BlueprintThere are so many different approaches you can take to marketing. In fact, on my bookshelf I have a book titled 465 Ways To Market Your Business. The key though is to discover what are the best four or five methods for marketing your business. This takes some experimenting, but when you uncover what they are for you, it’s a wonderful thing.

Having said this, I think there is one marketing strategy that everyone should be using in their business. And that is strategic alliances and joint ventures. This is where you find businesses that share the same (or similar) customers to you, but you are not competing.

For example, if you are a hairdresser, complementary businesses might be; personal training, beauty clinics, massage centres and fashion boutiques, just to name a few.

You see, what do you think is easier, to go out and find 100 new customers one at a time? Or to find a business that is happy to tell their 100 customers about you all in one go?

Clearly not only is the latter much faster, but it’s more effective. Why? Because that other business is transferring the trust they have built up over many years to you. It’s called endorsed marketing and in my experience it is at least ten times more effective than marketing to cold prospects that have never heard of you before.

How does your business contribute to your community?

For the last 12 months we’ve been supporting several charities including Hands Across the Water. In fact I just recently returned from Thailand when I completed an 800km bike ride from Bangkok to Khao Lak. This was one of the toughest experiences of my life, but I am pleased to say we stuck it out and together with the other riders we raised over $1 million – with 100% of this money going directly to several orphanages this charity supports.

How has the increasing success of your business impacted your personal/family life?

Dale Beaumont Business BlueprintThe increasing success of Business Blueprint has had quite a positive impact on my personal and family life actually.

I’ve been building my business for 12 years and in the early days we had to make a lot of sacrifices and work most nights and weekends. However, if you work hard and smart over an extended period of time, the results will come.

While I love what I do and love working, my family comes first. So it’s always been top of mind as we’ve grown to ensure that we systematized everything to ensure that the business runs whether I’m here or not.

For me now I have stepped back from day to day duties. I still work hard but now I do it because I want to, not because I have to. And I focus today on things that will add more strategic value to the business.

I have a beautiful wife, Katherine and two young boys – Finn and Callan. We travel a lot – normally for between three and four months of the year. In fact my 5 year old son has now been to over 39 countries around the world. If you want to see some of the places we’ve been and the incredible experiences we’ve had, go to my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/dalejbeaumont) and check out the various photo albums.

In summary, business for me has been a wonderful journey. It’s created a great lifestyle for me and my young family, but more importantly it’s allowed me to grow personally and helped me become a better person. And there’s no price on that.

Dale Beaumont
Managing Director
Business Blueprint
Po Box 808
Newport Beach 2106
1300 782 734

Business Blueprint _bluegrid_big


Week 14 – Tania Dolinschek


Introducing Tania Dolinschek

A note from Kerrie Phipps – I LOVE the combination of adventure and learning. Just love it. I hope you enjoy Tania’s story as much as I have. I can’t wait to meet her one day!

Jane nominated Tania with this comment “Tania is a great leader in her role on the training ship Leeuwin and through her workshops “What are your parrots saying”. Tania teaches children and teens about their inner voice. She makes it fun by becoming Captain Fran Pirate Captain. (And her first book is nearly out).”

Tania Dolinschek

Tania Dolinschek

Tania Dolinschek has led quite an adventurous life. After completing her BSc. in Physiotherapy, Tania decided to divide her time between healing physical ailments and helping young people develop through personal discover voyages onboard sailing ships such as the STS Leeuwin II.  Her adventurous side saw her take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Part way through the leg from Geraldton to China, her boat ran aground on a reef and with broken ribs, was picked up by the opposition along with the rest of her crew men. This experience inspired the creation of her business Sail Through Life and her first book “Pieces of Eight: what is your parrot saying?

Sail Through Life inspires and empowers young people to reach their full potential through interactive workshops, camps, books and coaching. Basically we bring the adventure and lessons from life at sea to land so that everyone can experience the lessons without having to set foot on a boat!

Sailing Through Life

How do you like to explain your business to others?

My business is unique in that it uses the metaphor of sailing to introduce and teach concepts and lessons to both young and old. Through interactive games workshops, tutorials, books and coaching, I use the lessons used at sea to make learning fun. Few people get to dress up like a pirate to “go to work” running programs for young people on skills such as team work, leadership and resilience.

What plans do you have to further Sail Through Life?

I would like to expand the business into running longer camps 4-7 days where students from as young as 8 yrs can immerse themselves in a positive learning environment. Having a longer period of time with people allows them to practice and grow their new skills in a safe environment. It also allows for learnings to be layered to achieve deeper understanding.

Tania DolinschekCan you tell us about a challenge you’ve faced and what you learned?
For me it was the moment when I stood on the yacht of our rescuers’ boat owning only what I was wearing and my passport. I realised then, that how lucky I was to be alive and that there was a bigger game to play. It was no longer ok to just go to work each day and help one person at a time. I wanted to inspire and empower larger groups of people, especially children to achieve their full potential. Once I had committed, the transition just happened.

What was your biggest sacrifice in getting your business up and running?

My biggest sacrifice has been a structured life! Working from home part time, working part time as a physio and dance teacher at night, has created a fair amount of juggling! Whilst I love the freedom and flexibility, I have to work very hard to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

What does success mean to you personally?

Success to me means waking up each morning thankful for what you are able to contribute to the world. If you are happy and fulfilled doing what you are called to do and are able to survive financially doing what you love, then I believe you are successful!

Tania Dolinschek
CEO – Sail Through Life
ph. 0405217579
Facebook – www.facebook.com/sail.through.life
Twitter – www.twitter.com/taniadol
Linked In – www.linkedin.com/pub/tania-dolinschek/
sail through life


Week 10 – Amy Coombe


Introducing Amy Coombe.

A word from Kerrie Phipps – I love an over-comer! Amy Coombe is inspirational.

Jane Pelusey nominated her with this comment. “Amy tells a story of teenage bulimia and  depression. One day she realised her inner voice was lying to her. From then on she was able to turn her life around. She now talks, coaches and mentors young people. And she discovered all this at such a young age.”

Read on…

Amy Coombe

Amy Coombe

Amy’s story is, sadly, not unique. Her personal journey involves battling Anorexia, Bulimia, severe Depression & the onset of suicidal experiences during her teenage years where she managed to hide her illness and suffer in silence.

What Amy is now doing with that experience however, IS unique!

Having overcome her demons, rebuilt her life and walking the talk of a fully recovered survivor, Amy is extremely passionate about using her experience to change the lives of others and assist in building a future generation of men and women who are confident in their own skin, self empowered, and have positive and healthy self esteems.

Last year Amy Coombe spoke to over 3000 people, appeared in CLEO magazine, the West Australian and the Narrogin Observer.

She shares her personal experience and the tools she has professionally developed as a Nationally Accredited Coach. Amy is in the process of completing a National Accreditation as a Practitioner in NLP and Time Line Therapy and is excited about finishing her book this year to assist anyone who may need to hear what her heart has to share.

1. How do you love to explain your business to others?

There’s no denying the fact that Eating Disorders, Depression, Self Harming, Negative & Unrealistic Body Image and low Self Esteem are issues that both teens and adults face everyday.

My business is about doing anything and everything I can to help; raising awareness, sharing my story and personal experience, working one on one with someone, work-shopping through their thoughts and doubts or by simply having the courage to show a complete stranger that they are not alone, that someone else understands what it’s like and that they will get through it if they choose to never ever give up.

2. What plans do you have to expand your business further?

I started this journey for myself; to turn my negative experience into a positive believing that if I could help just one other soul then it happened for a reason and that reason was worth it. Over the past 12 months my reason has done a complete flip; I’m no longer doing this for myself, I’m doing this for those who need it.

Amy Coombe SpeakingMy plans have grown (and continue to grow each week!!) yet the funny thing is, it’s not me who thinks of the next step, it’s the people who I’m working with. For example, I delivered some flowers to a hospital in Perth over Christmas for those who were in the Eating Disorder Ward. From that I now hold regular consults with a Mother and I’m in a writing “pen pal” phase with her Daughter and together we are working a plan as to how I can help them get through the toughest patch of their lives.

Every person is different so I tailor a personalised service that really fits what they need and that can only be done by building a relationship of trust, communication and a desired end result for all involved.

I have a dream to hold self esteem and body image workshops in WA for teens. 10 weeks, 2 hours a week where they can have a dose of self empowerment and learn how to cherish who they are inside and out. I have a dream to speak at 90% of schools in WA, to be a regular at Women’s Events, build an online community where people can help each other and to write as many books as I can!

3. How did you move from dreamer to achiever?

Fear is something that stops so many of us in our tracks; fear of failing. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being good enough. I knew that this would pop up for me throughout my journey so I did 3 things to move from dreamer to achiever:

  • Created a MASSIVE reason why I must push past the fear and keep moving forward (& I mean MASSIVE!). My reasons for doing this are huge. They involve my own personal reasons, reasons for others and reasons for the life I want to create for my family. When your reason is big enough you literally can’t stop, even if you wanted to; the fire within your soul burns so brightly that you just keep going.
  • I married a man who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. During times of doubt, fear or ‘I’m exhausted and need to give up’ he hung onto my vision, reminded me of my reasons why and held my hand to just keep moving forward. Within no time at all I would be out of that doubtful patch and back into exciting new opportunities and he’d just smile as I took off again with a burst of renewed energy!
  • I got all of my excuses out on the table (literally) and I worked through them one by one until I didn’t believe any of them anymore. I had a couple that were too big for me to tackle on my own so I sought the help of Mentors. I now know that if I don’t achieve it’s not because of my excuses it’s because of a choice that I’m making.

Amy Coombe and Kids4. How does your business contribute to your community?

There are a lot of wonderful professionals in this field and I’m not trying to replace any of them. Sometimes it’s easier to relate to someone who has been where you are, more than someone who has studied text books on what you’re going through.

I have so many people tell me that their Doctors are wonderful but when they’re with me they feel like I really “get it” and that’s because I really do!

My business is designed to fit in alongside the professionals as an extra resource that people can use if they need to; Parents, Teens, Teachers, Event Organisers, Businesses or anyone else that needs a dose of inspiration.

Name: Amy Coombe
Role: Speaker, Coach, Facilitator and Mentor
Mobile: 0422 060 793
Website: www.amycoombe.com
Facebook: Amy Coombe or http://www.facebook.com/AmySpeaksAustralia


Week 9 – Elise Brown


Introducing Elise Brown.

A note from Kerrie Phipps –

Elise was nominated by someone who is inspired by her story, and I loved it too. Young people in regional areas are an asset to their community and it’s exciting to hear about new and growing businesses that attract positive attention and recognition nationally and internationally.  This was the note with Elise’s nomination –

“Elise bought her first business, Fair Dinkum Dog Coats, aged 19.  Despite her young age she has proven to be a discerning business woman showing great courtesy to her customers, an incredible skill in making quality dog coats, and marketing them Australasia wide via a website.” – Anon

Elise Brown Regional Achievers Award

Elise Brown 2010 Regional Achievers Award

When 19 year old Elise Brown saw the opportunity to buy Fair Dinkum Dog Coats  in 2007 she jumped at the chance. She then bought her second business Midland Pet Supplies at the age of 20.
Elise ran both businesses until October 2012 when she sold the pet shop to be a mother to Monique born on September 4th 2012.
Since becoming self employed in 2006 Elise Brown has won a major award called the Regional Achievers award (2010), married, purchased a house, was invited to Government house to meet the Queen and had a baby and all by the age of 25.

Fair Dinkum Dog Coats

How did you get started in business at 19?

I’ve always had ideas, always dreaming of doing something new, but without my nan and pop’s financial support, and mum and dad’s advice, and grandma and grandpa’s loan of a work space to get me started, it just wouldn’t have happened. And, yes, I did pay my nan and pop back!

I love animals and have never been without a couple of dogs at the door and some horses in the paddock to ride. I love working with my hands and I’ve always been keen to have a go at making things. I got my first sewing machine for my 13th birthday so I could make my own saddle blankets. School was great but all I wanted to do was work with horses. My first jobs were at the Sutton Grange thoroughbred racing stables and then at Boomerang Ranch in Daylesford as a trail ride assistant. I loved both these experiences but fast realized that it was tough working in the outdoors all year round. I always wanted to be my own boss one day. When a family friend advised that she was retiring and looking to sell her part time business I was immediately interested and thanks to my family’s help, I became the proud owner of Fair Dinkum Dog Coats in 2007.

Who are your greatest supporters?

Fair Dinkum Dog Coats RoxyBy far my greatest supporters have been my family, who financed me in both businesses and were great for bouncing ideas off. My grandmother has been amazing letting me take over her sewing shed and training me as a machinist. Grandma was trained at Emily McPherson and taught sewing. My grandfather will come into the sewing room and demand that I take a break, which is so helpful because I would just keep going some days until my body is in agony.

My mother travels Australia as a speaker / lecturer teaching public speaking, grant writing and encouraging young entrepreneurs and it’s no surprise she has been a huge supporter to me and my businesses. My husband has been supportive by helping me with anything physical like unloading a truck or delivering stock and he has been very understanding when I’m too busy to do anything else other than work.

Owning a business has been both a scary and an exciting time for me. I’ve come to appreciate how much hard work it is and I’m also very grateful for the support and advice given to me by other much more experienced business owners.

Describe a significant challenge you’ve faced. What learning can you share?
I learned a very big lesson in backing up my work when I had my laptop stolen from the shop and had to re-do 6 months of bookwork as I had not made a copy. I now back-up regularly!

Elise Brown - Coat Fitting

Elise Brown – Coat Fitting

What do you love about doing business from your regional location?
I now have a young baby, Monique. During the day I can work on Marketing my business and taking orders. I then make the coats when my husband comes home from work and can look after Monique while I sew or I take her with me and my grandparents (her great grandparents) look after her as my sewing shed is on their property.
Castlemaine is a great place to live and be a young person in business. Our community is made up of people who love hand made products and they love to support young people in business.

I am also surrounded by family and friends, most of which live within 5 minutes of my house and sewing shed.

I can’t help but smile when I come across a dog wearing one of my coats. It is a great feeling.

What are the most important things you’ve done to grow your business?
Definitely getting online. I now receive orders from all over the world. The facebook page has also increased my sales. I think my website is so successful because it is kept simple and personal. People realize that they are dealing with an actual person when they are purchasing from me.

What does success mean to you personally?
To me success = happiness. My business makes me happy as it allows me flexibility with my family and gives self worth.

Name: Elise Brown (nee Anderson)
Role: Owner
Business Name: Fair Dinkum Dog Coats
Address: PO Box 699 Castlemaine Vic 3450
Phone: 0438706302
Email: info@fairdinkumdogs.com.au
Website: www.fairdinkumdogs.com.au

Fair Dinkim Logo


Week 6 – Grace Mills


Introducing Grace Mills

A word from Kerrie Phipps “I’m so excited to introduce Gracie to you, although to many she needs no introduction. I met Gracie in Sydney in June 2012 and my world has more colour and possibilities in it since 🙂 I love her father’s version of a bio for Gracie, especially the line “…if we had 100 more like her we may very well change the world in a profound and lasting way.” I hope Gracie’s story inspires you and cheers you on. Connect with her and cheer her on too…

Samuel nominated Gracie with these words – “There is only one way to sum up Grace. She is a Gun. Anything You throw at her she takes in her stride, no matter how big or challenging it is. While still only 22 she can sit in a boardroom and talk with top CEO’s, very comfortably persuading them to make better choices in their businesses.”

Grace Mills

Having left Albury for New York at 17 after becoming a certified drama queen and appearing in several New York performances, Grace’s destiny would lead her into corporate America. In the space of two years she came to lead a company on the cutting edge of neurological communication within Marketing, Advertising and Branding. Prior to returning to Australia, Grace also achieved considerable success in Real Estate.

Grace’s previous experience and knowledge culminate in her current role of creating global digital marketing strategies for clients. She now is an Online Marketing specialist with Think big online providing digital marketing solutions and implementation to grow businesses by making sure they have a comprehensive strategy to ensure the highest return on investment.

A word from her father (A successful entrepreneur in the USA, originally from Albury, NSW) “Upon her arrival in the United States of America, after she compulsively obtained the lead role in two high profile theatrical productions in Times Square’s Broadway district, I assigned her a company to run in Manhattan. After a thorough 12 days of initiation and acclimation to what some consider the focal point of global commerce. Grace Mills, my child, totally and completely cast aside all preconceived ideas, procedures and methods in favor of the grander plan.  She established a pirate like attitude to competitors and those in positions of authority in the great city of New York and proceeded to change the way real estate is transacted, a practice firmly established over the past 100 years.

Grace Mills young achieverNot content to have just upset the wealthiest people of influence on the planet, Grace went on to manipulate my companies to her own devices and I can only say at this time thank God she has temporarily returned to Australia because although I hate to admit it, I was having trouble keeping up.

I can say in closing, before the little sassy pants hussy takes the stage, that Grace is a very naughty girl with no respect for historic methodology and if we had 100 more like her we may very well change the world in a profound and lasting way.”

1.    Who are your greatest supporters.

My friends and family. Whenever I come up with a ridiculous or far fetched idea they are always there by my side cheering me on. Some nod and smile and some say “Sure I would love to start a nightclub with you on the moon! Great idea.” Not even the sky is the limit.

2.     Describe a significant Business challenge you have faced. How did you approach it, what did you learn?

Being young and in business has always been a challenge, especially in New York Real Estate and dealing with big corporations like CBS television. I found myself over compensating and pretending to know everything so people wouldn’t judge me on my age. Then I realized it’s better to admit that you don’t know everything but are willing to learn!

Grace at Key Peroon Of Influence

Daniel Priestly and Grace Mills

3.     How did you move from being a dreamer to achiever?

I have never been one to dream something and not go for it. I am the kind of person that once I have an idea in my head you can only try and stop me from doing it. I am not saying that I have achieved every dream I have ever had but I have given most of them a good crack!

4.     What does success mean to you personally?

I think the goalposts of success move during the journey toward success. Setting and achieving goals are some peoples perception of success but I think to me success means achieving happiness and satisfaction.

5.     How has the increasing success of your business impacted your personal/family life.

Sometimes it is very hard to balance work and personal life but I know that the people closest to me understand the importance of the success of the company to me and support me all the way. There have been times where I struggle to keep up with people as work can at times be all consuming but as long as I enjoy it, I don’t see a problem with that. If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. I like the saying work hard play hard, mainly because I think I do it quite well 🙂

Grace Mills
Online Marketing Specialist
Think Big Online
LG 3A 275 Alfred Street, North Sydney 2065
0412 091 539


Week 5 – Ben Myhill


Introducing Ben Myhill

A note from Kerrie Phipps “I’m delighted to introduce Ben Myhill, who’s an inspiring young man in our neighbourhood! And creator of fabulous food – including the best squid I’ve had anywhere 🙂
This nomination comes from a customer we met in the restaurant and he was delighted to share a few comments about Ben and his wife Amanda….

Both Ben & Amanda have inspired me to follow my dreams and make them a reality, I am sure their path hasn’t been easy but they still made success and high public opinion their primary achievement. They deliver excellent customer service, meal presentation and quality of food and staff. Ben & Amanda are genuine people who work hard and generously contribute to the community. Their success shows me that their character is one to learn from and to admire.” – Rod Winner

Ben Myhill

Ben Myhill was a local Tamworth man who left school in 2002 to pursue his passion for cooking. Ben started his career at 16 with the Tamworth originated Franchise sSs BBQ Barns as a kitchen hand. In 2002 this led to Ben commencing an apprenticeship, where he completed his goal of becoming a qualified chef.  It wasn’t long before he was offered the head chef position of sSs BBQ Barns Tamworth, the head restaurant of the Australian franchise. Ben assisted the franchise with supply and demand of franchise goods and often helped other stores to open their sSs BBQ Barns franchise. Ben managed the original site of sSs BBQ Barns up until November 2007 when the opportunity arose to take on a dream, to own his own restaurant. Ben and his wife Amanda took on the challenge and hit the ground running. Ben met his wife through school sports and his passion for the industry inspired Amanda to pursue a career in hospitality too. Ben and Amanda have no regrets in taking on such a challenge at a young age and have learned quite a lot from the challenges they have faced through out the years.

In May 2012 Ben created his own unique restaurant ‘The Lions Pride Restaurant’. It was an enormous leap from the support network of a franchise to a locally Family owned Restaurant, out in hospitality on his own but it was well worth all the blood, sweat and tears to achieve his long term goal in such a short period of time. This wouldn’t have been achieved without the support of his family, friends, and team, plus loyal supportive customers who Ben, Amanda and their two young daughters consider as friends.

Ben and his young family are happy to call Dubbo home, as they have both of their passions of hospitality/cooking and sport at their finger tips.

1. How do you love to explain your business to others? We love to talk about how we cater for everyone, families, business person, large or small groups. We love to make you feel welcome from the time you walk through the door, with a friendly smile and welcome, to the smile and goodbye “we will see you next time” we love to share our passion for hospitality with everyone. We love to see that smile on your face when you take that first bite of your meal, to that very last one of our mouth watering desserts. We want to make you feel like “ KING OF OUR PRIDE”

2. Who are your greatest supporters? My wife Amanda is definitely been my biggest supporter, she has always been there by my side helping push and drive the business where we want it to go. Also my family and friends. They have really helped out and supported me from the very start. They have seen the amount of work I have put in and what I have given up to pursue my passion for the hospitality industry. Lastly my two little girls, Lilly-Anne and Bianca who are always there to give me a great big smile and hugs and kisses when I get home.

3. How did you move from dreamer to achiever? Taking that first step outside of the comfort zone was the hardest, but having that passion, belief and drive in the hospitality industry, plus the support from family, friends and our wonderful team, we knew we would succeed.

4. How does your business contribute to your community? Our business contributes to local sporting teams, a lot of local community events and fundraisers. We also offer a lot of products from local producers and suppliers on our menu through the food and wine. From Lime Grove in Narromine, meat from Bunninyong Butchery and wine from Red Earth Estate Dubbo.

Contact details
Ben Myhill
Head Chef / Restaurateur
The Lions Pride Restaurant (formally known as sSs BBQ Barns Dubbo)
Corner of Cobra and Darling streets, Dubbo NSW
Phone (02) 6884 3333 fax (02)6884 3717
Mobile 0409 127 710

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