Be inspired to take every opportunity this episode, as Kristina speaks with the incredible Emma Isaacs. Author of the best-selling book, Winging It and founder and Global CEO of Business Chicks – Australia's largest and most influential networking community for women – Emma is driven by a passion to inspire women everywhere to be bold, courageous and take risks.
Born and raised in Sydney, Emma now lives in Los Angeles with her gorgeous family. Not only is she a best-selling author, leader of an international business for women and a serial property investor, she has also raised over $AU12 million for charity and is a mother to five beautiful young children.
Emma truly is amazing example of someone who seizes every opportunity and isn’t afraid to jump out of her comfort zone.
After dropping out of university at just 18 to follow her path, Emma became co-owner of a small recruitment company, beginning her career and sparking a true passion for business.
At just 26, a friend invited her along to a Business Chicks event and despite being initially offended (as the feminist she is) by the name 'Business Chicks,' Emma was so impressed by the event, she bought the company!
Emma has since grown Business Chicks from just 250 members into a global business that now operates in two continents, 11 cities and produces more than 100 events annually, with speakers including Sir Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Dr Brené Brown, Arianna Huffington, Diane von Furstenberg, Sir Bob Geldof, Jamie Oliver and so many more!
An absolute inspiration to us all, Emma is the first to admit that she’s just 'Winging it' most of the time – but living her life the best way she can!
In this amazing episode, you’ll discover…
- The importance of taking every opportunity, jumping out of your comfort zone and making small changes to lead you on the path to your dream life
- The power of embracing kindness in your everyday – not just kindness to others, but kindness to yourself
- That it’s okay to ask for help on things that may be outside your strengths or interests
- That, no matter how much things may change or how difficult things may seem, the important thing is to keep trying
- How, by surrounding yourself with and connecting with inspiring people, you can move closer to achieving your dreams
And so much more!
- Winging It, Emma Isaacs: https://businesschicks.com/wingingit/
- Business Chicks: https://businesschicks.com/
- Emma Isaacs: https://businesschicks.com/emma-story/
- Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/think-and-grow-rich-9781785042416
- Rich Dad Poor Dad, https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/rich-dad-poor-dad-by-robert-t-kiyosaki-9781612680194/#.XBxr6dNuZ68
- Who Moved My Cheese?, Spencer Johnson: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/291680/who-moved-my-cheese-by-spencer-johnson/9780399147241/
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people-9780091906818
- Your Dream Life Starts Here, Kristina Karlsson
- Dream Life Journal
- 101 Dreams Audio Guide
Be inspired to take every opportunity this episode, as Kristina speaks with the incredible Emma Isaacs. Author of the best-selling book, Winging It and founder and Global CEO of Business Chicks – Australia's largest and most influential networking community for women – Emma is driven by a passion to inspire women everywhere to be bold, courageous and take risks.
Kristina: 00:00:04 What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? If you had all the money, all the time, all the knowledge, all the resources that you needed? What would you do with your life if you simply knew that anything was possible for you? My name is Kristina Karlsson, founder of global Swedish design and stationary brand kikki.K and author of the book, Your Dream Life Starts Here, and I love exploring these sorts of questions to inspire people to dream. Before I started kikki.K, I had a dream that I could bring Swedish design to the world to create beautiful products that bring sparks of joy into the everyday lives of millions. Now that I have achieved that dream, I want to help you dream big. I want to create a global movement to inspire 101 million dreamers, to transform their lives and transform the world in return.
Kristina: 00:01:03 Each episode, I'll be talking to some of the world's most inspiring people, exploring the powerful impact that dreaming has had on their lives. We'll be diving deep into the power of dreaming with real insights and ideas that you can use immediately to build a Dream Life of your own, whatever that means for you.
Kristina: 00:01:33 I am so excited to be joined by a great friend of mine this episode, and a woman I truly admire, Emma Isaacs. As the global CEO of Business Chicks, Australia's largest and most influential networking community for women, Emma is driven by a passion to inspire women everywhere to be bold, courageous, and take risks. A bestselling author of her incredibly inspiring book, Winging It, and a mother of five beautiful children, Emma is an amazing example of someone who seizes every opportunity and isn't afraid to jump out of her comfort zone.
Kristina: 00:02:07 After dropping out of university at just 18 to follow her path, Emma became co-owner of a small recruitment company, beginning her career and sparking a true passion for business. At just 26, a friend invited her along to a Business Chicks event, and Emma was so impressed, she bought the company, which at the time had just 250 members. Emma has since grown Business Chicks into a global business that now operates in 2 continents, 11 cities, and produces more than 100 events annually, with speakers including Sir Richard Branson, Seth Gordon, Dr. Brené Brown, Arianna Huffington, Dianne Von Furstenberg, Sir Bob Geldof, Jamie Oliver, and so many more.
Kristina: 00:02:51 An absolute inspiration to us all, Emma is the first to admit that she is just winging it most of the time, but living her life the best way she can. In this amazing episode, you'll discover the importance of taking every opportunity, jumping out of your comfort zone, and making small changes to lead you on the path to your Dream Life. The power of embracing kindness in your every day ... Not just kindness to others, but kindness to yourself as well. That it's okay to ask for help on things that may be outside your strength or interests. That no matter how much things might change, or how difficult things may seem, the important thing is to keep trying. How? By surrounding yourself with and connecting with inspiring people, you can move closer to achieving your dreams and so much more. I'm so excited for you to hear this episode, so let's get right into it.
Kristina: 00:03:45 So, Emma, welcome to our Dream Life podcast. I am so excited to be speaking with you today, especially as I know you've just come back from one of your incredible Business Chicks events on Richard Branson's Necker Island, and I cannot wait to hear all about that, as well as digging into your incredible story, your amazing book, Winging It, and the fantastic Business Chicks community you have built. But first, I like to start each episode by asking my guest to think back to when they were children, so I'd love you to do that, and think about what were your dreams for the future when you were a child.
Emma: 00:04:23 Oh, you're asking me to go into the archives.
Kristina: 00:04:25 I am.
Emma: 00:04:25 I turned 40 [inaudible 00:04:27]. It seems like so long ago. I just want to start by saying thank you so much for having me on. It's such an honor and a gift to me to actually get some time with you. I know we've been friends for many, many, many years now. We never seem to get real time together, so I love that you invented this excuse for us to ...
Kristina: 00:04:46 It's perfect.
Emma: 00:04:46 ... have a proper conversation.
Kristina: 00:04:47 It's perfect. And I was just saying before we started recording that I read in your book that you are an Uber kind of friend, where you catch up ten minutes on your way somewhere with a friend, and I'm very much like that, too. So I think, yeah, next time I'm in LA, let's do a little Uber trip together.
Emma: 00:05:00 I'd love that. That sounds good.
Kristina: 00:05:04 And thank you for coming on the podcast of course, as well.
Emma: 00:05:07 No, no, it's such a privilege. It really, really is. So I don't know, young Emma. I was the eldest of three kids. I've got a gorgeous sister and a younger brother and I was what my mom would describe as completely bossy. I was always up to something. I was always curious. I was never settled or satisfied with the answer that people gave me, and I'm sure that kind of frustrated a lot of people, I suppose, particularly my parents trying to raise me, because I would never just accept an answer and I would always have to have ten questions about why that answer was given. So I probably was a challenging kind of kid.
Emma: 00:05:43 My dreams back then ... I don't know if I was really explicit about what I wanted. I think I knew I always wanted to have a much, much bigger life. I dreamt about traveling and seeing bigger things than what I was shown perhaps when I was younger. That's not to say at all that I didn't have a beautiful childhood. I really did. It was a very kind of suburban, middle class, wonderful, playing cricket in the street with neighbors and getting lost on bikes in the gardens of our friends and the bush tracks around where I grew up. But I think I just dreamt of a much bigger life, and I was always looking outward as to how I could achieve that.
Emma: 00:06:22 So I never had that dream of I want to go to space or I want to be a teacher or I want to make a billion dollars. It was just I wanted a bigger life. And it's kind of funny now to see how that's manifested from such an early age, and it's kind of what I try and be for myself and for my community and certainly for my family and friends as well. So yeah, I think that's the earliest dreaming that I can remember.
Kristina: 00:06:49 Wow, that's so lovely, and I can so relate to that because I grew up on a farm and my childhood was also very lovely and I dreamt about traveling the world and seeing the world outside of our farm. Last summer when we were in Sweden, my daughter, she just want to have a horse. She travels the world all the time and she just want a horse, and when I had a horse, all I wanted was traveling. So I think it's exciting to always be looking at what is possible in life and whatever that life is for each of us individually, and we're all different of course, and it's exciting.
Kristina: 00:07:22 You have such an incredible career, running your first company at just 18 years of age, which is very inspiring. And after dropping out of university to follow your own patch, and I just love that. Can you give us a little bit of a background on how you were able to enter the business world so young, and what led you to make that decision not to continue with your degree?
Emma: 00:07:40 Yeah. I mean, it's, again, funny when you have hindsight and look back in retrospect at why you make certain decisions, and to be honest, it wasn't a very, very difficult decision to make. I come from a very, very academic family and all of my cousins and brother and sister have degrees and my parents were certainly very disappointed with my decision not finish uni, but I just knew in my gut that it wasn't going fast enough. I knew that I wasn't going to get where I wanted to be by sitting there. And really the catalyst for me ... I studied business degree for about six months, and the catalyst was ... I was like every other broke uni student, although I did have a casual job the whole way through school and certainly the start of uni.
Emma: 00:08:27 But the catalyst, for me, was needing to cross the Harbour Bridge and needing the $2 toll to get from one side to the other and I just didn't have the $2 to get across the bridge, and I'm like, "This is just ridiculous. How can this be?" I mean, I still was super young. I was obviously only 18 at the time, but I just thought, "This is not right. I need to sort this out and I don't want to be a struggling uni student for the next three or four years and I don't want to live within these constraints. I don't want to have to comply to rules. It feels really, really wrong," and that's kind of what was the catalyst for me, at least dropping out of uni and saying, "I've gotta put that to the side for the moment."
Emma: 00:09:08 And really, how I got the start in the business world was just through sliding doors moments where you ... It wasn't like I thought out the plan, "I'm gonna leave, I'm gonna start a business." That was kind of the furthest thing from my mind, but I met another young girl. She was probably five or six years older than me at the time and she had just set up this little recruitment company and she said, "I'm gonna hire someone." So I went for an interview and got the job and that's kind of how I got the start. It was, again, another ten other sliding doors moments of her business partner wanting to stop running the business with her and him saying to her, "If you want to offer equity to anyone in this company, you should turn and talk to that young girl sitting there."
Emma: 00:09:51 So that's how we had a conversation and I ended up buying into the business, and really that was just through working for such a meager salary, really kind of baked beans and toast back then, which I did very, very happily. I've always got throughout my career that sometimes you have to sacrifice in order to get ahead and I'd never had a problem with that. I still don't have a problem with that. I see some entrepreneurs leading from, I suppose, a place of ego, and for me it's never been about that. I'm willing to do any single job that comes up, and that was something my first business taught me. You had to start somewhere, you had to put in the hard yards, you had to put in the hours, you had to do the jobs that we ask of everyone else in our businesses. So I certainly learned that lesson very, very young.
Emma: 00:10:39 And really, that's how we got the start. It was just the two of us. I wouldn't pay myself any commissions. That's how I bought in. And we just really started by focusing on one client and doing a really, really good job and then focusing on another. And I know it can be really hard. If anyone out there who's in a startup listening to people, perhaps, who have had as much experience ... I mean, I think I've been in business now for about 22 years in my own companies at least, and I know that you can listen to people like Kristina or, perhaps, like myself, and you think, "They make it sound so easy." But it really can be that easy. I think what people forget when they're in a startup, they get really caught up with the stuff that doesn't really make a difference. Yes, brand is important and yes, business cards are sometimes necessary, but you've gotta focus on revenue and making money and getting yourself set up financially so that the growth can come, and then you can focus on the nice stuff like brand and perhaps peripheral activity.
Emma: 00:11:36 But that's how I started. I just started focusing on the clients and people that we were dealing with, and that's really how it came to grow at the time. I was in that business for seven years before deciding to exit, which was a really, really hard and yucky time for me. That was my entire identity. I thought I was that business. I had pretty much no life outside of that business. I was completely given to my people and I remember walking into the boardroom that day and telling them that I was going to leave and people just ... It's kind of like if I said now, "I'm gonna leave Business Chicks." It's like, "But you're one in the same, Em. It's all intertwined and you just can't do that." So I really felt proud of myself, as difficult and challenging as those days were. But I feel proud of myself that I had the courage to make the decision to leave.
Emma: 00:12:26 We got through it, and that's when the opportunity to buy Business Chicks presented itself, and I've been at that now for about 14 years or so.
Kristina: 00:12:35 Yeah, tell us about that. I love to hear that story. That's how we met, and I love to hear how you got into that.
Emma: 00:12:40 Yeah. It's so cool. Actually, I haven't done this exercise, but I think if I were to sit down and write all, I don't know, top 200, top 100 people in my life who've influenced and impacted me the most, I am totally making this up, but I would hazard a guess that 95% of them I've met through Business Chicks, so that's been just such a beautiful chapter in my life, if you like, and I hope it's one that I can sustain for many, many years to come.
Emma: 00:13:08 I was introduced to Business Chicks like I suppose you were, like most people are. A friend said, "You should go to this thing." And I remember at first thinking, "I'm not going to that. I'm such a feminist. It's a terrible name. I'm not gonna be associated with anything that calls themselves 'chicks.' That's so derogatory to women and I believe in women. I'm a feminist." And my friend was just like, "You actually need to get over yourself and you need to go along and experience this thing and you need to get past that and just go and check it out."
Emma: 00:13:40 And I'm really happy that I trusted her. I went into that event that first day and the minute I walked in those doors, I was like, "This is it. This is my people. This is the sisterhood that I haven't seen before." And this is going back, like I said, 14 years ago now, when there weren't really any women's organizations. There was the beautiful Suzi Dafnis had the Australian Businesswomen's Network, and then there was kind of Business Chicks. We like to think that we were serving women before it was even en vogue. It was not cool to do that back then. We were seriously just about how do we serve women and how can we add value to them.
Emma: 00:14:17 Anyway, I walked into my first event, loved it. I'm still really good mates with seven of the other nine women I met on the table that day.
Kristina: 00:14:24 Oh, nice.
Emma: 00:14:24 I went by myself. I was sat in the absolute worst possible table in the room. I couldn't have cared less. I remember going there expecting to hear from a super successful entrepreneur and I heard from this comedienne who proceeded to take off all her clothes and play the guitar and we were just like, "What is going on? What is this thing? This is meant to be a business function." And what it kind of taught me was ... I mean, had everyone let down the guard and, I suppose, take off the armor and be themselves and we laughed together, and that's something that I've always taken with me in terms of this culture by design that we have at Business Chicks, and it is to make people feel like they belong. It is to make people feel like they're special. It is to make people feel like they have a purpose greater than themselves. It is to make people feel like they can have a sense of fun and be profession and be successful all at once. We really just really try and design that space where people feel held and people feel safe, and that's definitely what I felt the very first time that I experienced Business Chicks.
Emma: 00:15:24 So yeah, I went to that first event. I went back to my office. I couldn't stop talking about it. I was on the website straight away, "When's the next event? Let's book three tables for that event." I said to every single person in the business, "Let's every person here become a member. We have to get behind these things. This is really important work." And I just caught the bug. I just really ... I don't know, got religion on what belonging was and what it felt like to be in a community. And community was something that I had as a child and I think I was really lacking it, certainly when I first started out in business. I found it through a couple of different networks, but I really felt a sense of like mindedness with Business Chicks.
Emma: 00:16:04 So at the next event, I heard the business was for sale and I just went up to the lady at the end. I didn't think about it too much. I just said to her, "I want to help and can we talk, please?" And I just suppose I bowled her over with my enthusiasm. I just, again, like the little young Emma, I just wouldn't take no for an answer and I just kept on saying, "Can we have a meeting? Can we have a meeting? When can we talk?" And one thing let to another. There were a lot of different companies that wanted to buy the Business Chicks organization back then, Business Chicks even though it was a quite small database, you could tell that the women who went along to these events were really high quality. You could tell that they represented a lot of Australia's top companies and there was a huge depth to the sort of person who was involved, so they could see that and I could see that.
Emma: 00:16:56 Lucky for me, they chose me to buy it. I think I was like 24, 25 at the time and that's how I got my start.
Kristina: 00:17:04 That's a beautiful story. And I feel like you and Business Chicks are kind of one and really reflecting your values into the business and I love it. I'm very grateful that you bought it and also very grateful to be one of your members.
Kristina: 00:17:17 You are a mother of five children, a global CEO, a mentor to many, and seemingly Superwoman to all of us. I know that you don't like that word, but for us from the outside, you look like a real Superwoman. But one of the things I love about you is this huge message in your amazing book, Winging It, is that you're living your life as best as you can and not necessarily in the ways people expect you to. And I think that's really comforting to us mothers to know that you are just winging it at home most of the time as well. I know many of us feel that way most of the time. We are all winging it at home. But you are also doing that at work.
Kristina: 00:17:54 But even if you're not always 100% on top of everything in terms of home and family, I love that you say that you are always there for the stuff that matters. This is something that really resonated with me, but can you explain for our listeners what you mean by this?
Emma: 00:18:08 Having the five kids is a really big undertaking, obviously. I mean, two kids, three kids, whatever, it doesn't matter about the number.
Kristina: 00:18:16 I think it does.
Emma: 00:18:16 The number does lean in ... I know. It really is. It's pure chaos all the time. And for me, that's just been, and continues to be every single day, just a mirror in which to look and say, "Okay, what needs to change? How can I do better? What's working? What's not working? Where am I falling down?" But I think, if you want to wrap it up into one concept, I think if I were to distill it down to one word or one philosophy, I think it comes down to kindness. And what I mean by that is probably the highest level of that is being kind to yourself, so it is that what you mentioned then, that in thinking to be kind to yourself and saying, "I'm doing my best in the moment. I'm doing the best I can right now. I'm so far from whatever this concept of perfect is, but I'm doing my best."
Emma: 00:19:07 It's kind of a full circle to being kind to yourself. But it's also about being kind to kids and it's about being kind to others. So when we talk about how is it possible to have the five kids and do the traveling and the business stuff, which obviously consumes me for so much of my time ... Really, to get practical, I have amazing people around me that make that possible. And I really want to try and be a role model for not hiding behind the fact that I have a lot of help and I ask for a lot of help, and I'm not ashamed to ask for help. I have gotten myself into a situation where I prioritize that help because I know my mental health is better for it. I know that I can be with my children more. I know that I can prioritize what you said, the stuff that matters.
Emma: 00:19:57 And it hasn't always been easy to be able to ask for as much help as I need. I think we all, as women particularly, go through huge journeys with asking for help. I'm not just talking about hiring people and nannies and that sort of stuff. I'm talking about we struggle to ask for help with the people who work with us, whether it's in your business or you're working with someone else. I think we struggle to ask for the right amount of help from our partners. I think we can even struggle to ask for help we need from anyone else who's in our children's lives, be that our parents, their grandparents.
Emma: 00:20:28 So I think, for me, that's been a real learning of kind of stepping up and asking for the help I need, not being ashamed to ask for help with the people that we have working around us with the kids in the household that do the stuff that I don't want to do and frankly am really, really, really bad at doing. Certainly it's been a challenge to be able to figure out how to make enough money to be able to have enough support. I don't want to gloss over that, and that's something that I don't take for granted at all. And it's certainly one of the reasons that we live in America, because we have access to people who are willing to do that work and do it really, really beautifully.
Emma: 00:21:08 I think the key learning there is just the ability to ask for help. I think it's about outsourcing every conceivable thing that you can think of. Right now, to give you a kind of real life example, just before I came on this podcast with you, I was talking to one of our beautiful nannies. I was like, "You need to be wrapping the presents. You've got 15 minutes before the kids get home and you need to have them wrapped and in the basement." I don't do that stuff. I don't do the shopping. I don't do the laundry. Anything that can help me set up my life so that I can be either working or with my children, I don't mind if that costs me a hell of a lot of money. My priorities are there. I want to be able to spend time with my kids and be there for the stuff that matters, and I want to be able to be working my business as well and being there for my people in my business, because frankly, they are my other family and my job is to serve them and be available to them.
Emma: 00:22:02 Look, I'm probably sounding like I've got it all together and I absolutely do not. There are many, many, many, many times throughout the door where it all falls apart or I forget to communicate something, or just the sheer logistics of getting five young children ... My kids range ... My big girl is nine, then seven, then five, three, and one. Honestly, it's quite a comedy at times what goes on. So yeah, I mean, I definitely don't have it all together, but I just try and be kind to myself and kind to others and mostly it works. Mostly.
Kristina: 00:22:39 So inspirational. Definitely you are so kind and so calm, as well. When I jumped on the call this morning with you, I love hearing your calm voice. I often think about you when I'm struggling with just having two children. I'm thinking, this is easy compared to you, so it's always good. Everything's relative.
Emma: 00:22:56 You know it's funny. At the moment, my two eldest girls are in Australia with the grandparents right now and so we just have the three here in LA, and I keep having to stop myself because I keep wanting to say, "Oh my gosh, three kids is so easy. It's practically enjoyable. We're loving this." And I have to keep my mouth shut because it's all relative. Like for you, all you know is two kids, so of course it's hard and of course it's challenging. But your capacity does grow somehow. I don't know how, but I always ... I never knew I was capable of having three kids and then I had three kids. Didn't know I was capable of having four kids.
Emma: 00:23:31 And it's like a business. When you start out, you're like, "I've never run a million dollar business." And then somehow you work that out. Then you're like, "I've never run a $10 million business," and somehow you work that out. It just kind of gets back to this notion of winging it. It's not about, "Oh screw it, let's have no plan and give it a go." It's really just about having the courage to stand in the discomfort and stand in the not knowing and saying, "You know what? We will figure it out together. We will get the right people around us." And it's just coming back to that thing of being calm and just making a plan. And that, to me, has been something that I've carried from my first business and certainly it's something that still holds true today.
Kristina: 00:24:10 I love that. I'm a huge believer in jumping out of your comfort zone, and I know that this is a huge theme of your book as well. I came across something you said recently when speaking about Business Chicks, which I absolutely love, and that was, in your words: "When we force ourselves to sit next to a stranger at dinner or move outside what's worked in the past, that's when the magic happens." I love this. But how important is this to you, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone? And what advice do you have for someone who may be a bit fearful of taking this leap in their own lives?
Emma: 00:24:49 I can only speak from my experience, and this is certainly how I've been able to learn and grow and morph and change, if that's what you're looking for. And I think it's about starting small, and I think it's about practice. I'm not saying people should just go and jump out of a plane and get out of their comfort zone if that doesn't feel right. But like you said, it might be as simple as going to dinner with someone that you're uncomfortable with, or you wouldn't normally do that with, or starting a conversation on the bus with someone or talking to that person in the lift. Or it might be a physical kind of challenge, like trying to do a 5K run, or whatever it is. And for me, it's just been small steps and practice, and I find that the more you do it and the more frequently you do it, the braver you become and the less hard the insurmountable seems.
Emma: 00:25:49 I just think it's trying to build that habit of doing things differently. It's trying to build that habit of kind circuit breaking routine, if that makes sense. It might be going somewhere different to get your coffee and just having that conversation. And it's gonna be so different for every single person. I'm trying to build a habit of getting back to journaling every single day, and that's something that I know you've always spoken about and you've inspired me with. But I haven't done that for ten years, so it's gonna take me some time, and I'm a little bit out of my comfort zone because everything inside of me is saying, "You don't have time for this and you should be reading stories to the kids or you should be tackling your inbox," but it's about making a decision and applying yourself to that. I think it can be that easy and I will say that from my experience, the more you try and put yourself in discomfort and outside of your comfort zone, the easier it gets.
Emma: 00:26:44 And before you know it, you honestly can take on things that ... Like if I think about some of the things that I have attempted ... If you'd asked me 20 years ago would I ever be able to do them, there's no freaking way. There's no way. But it is the small things that add up and courage is actually found in the action. It's not found in the talking, it's found in the doing. So I just figure that, try and put yourself in those situations which feel icky. We started out this conversation talking about these leadership gatherings that we run Necker Island and I know you actually came to our very first one.
Kristina: 00:27:21 Love to talk about that.
Emma: 00:27:23 Yeah, which was, I think, four or five years ago now. But even when you get into a setting like that and you're ... I know we don't get in settings like that all the time [inaudible 00:27:29]
Kristina: 00:27:29 I wish.
Emma: 00:27:30 Yeah, I know. I wish, too. But you're on an island, you're with 25 people, you might know 3 or 4 of them really well and the rest are all strangers, and of course you're gonna gravitate towards the ones that make you feel comfortable or you feel safe, and it's really about trying to sit next to the person at dinner who is so unlike you. That is where the fun stuff happens. I try and think about that in my business as well. I know we gravitate towards people we like and who are like us, but the people who challenge you the most, the people who trigger you, the people who push your buttons, they can actually be the source of the most growth, even though it's so painful at times and you think, "Ugh, I just don't want to have to deal with you."
Emma: 00:28:17 That's certainly been something that I've really tried to test myself with. Going to a conference and if I go with a girlfriend, I'll separate with that person, say, "Meet you back here at 4 PM," and go our separate ways and go meet new people. I just think it's a really beautiful prescription for life. I think it really opens you up to new opportunities, to divest in thought. I don't know, I've just always tried to do that and it's ... yeah.
Kristina: 00:28:42 Yeah, it's such a great one and I love that. Obviously, I connected with Dr. Libby Weaver, who has been on our podcast, and Maggie [Whirl 00:28:50] who is coming on our podcast, hopefully. We ended up doing a lot of collaboration with a book. It was really funny because I was speaking to Maggie and we were just designing a range about being brave and she told me she'd written a book about being brave, and it was kind of a little bit late to start doing a book into that range because we often work well in advance, but I was like, "Let's do it," and it's been amazing. And it really is incredible when you actually meet people that you haven't met before and you really are getting a little bit out of that comfort zone.
Kristina: 00:29:21 So, for example, if someone comes to your Business Chicks event and they are a bit introverted, how do you help them? I think some of us ... You and me are quite used to being out of our comfort zone now, because we've been doing it for so long. But for someone who is just really just joining Business Chicks and are a little bit hesitant, what advice would you give to them to get them over that line?
Emma: 00:29:43 In Australia, we run about 100-something live events every year and they range from really small, kind of networking events where you might have 70 or 80 people, right through to our summits and expo products, which can have 10,000 people all through the doors over a couple of days. And then we do a lot of lunches and breakfasts and education. We've just produced a Knowledge and Study Tour, which was fantastic. So we do a whole heap of different events, and I'm just struggling to kind of put someone in that scenario. But I think what you've gotta do is get really good ... we're talking about practical networking here. It's getting really good at just introducing yourself, and we often say at Business Chicks, I think it's just five little words. "Hi, my name is Kristina." And just practice that. "Hi, my name is Kristina. Hi, my name is Kristina." I'm sure if you did that with 100 people, you wouldn't find that one of them didn't shake your hand back and say, "Oh hey, Kristina. Nice to meet you. I'm Emma."
Emma: 00:30:45 It's really just about finding those words to introduce yourself to people and then just start a conversation. At Business Chicks, we do try and create a culture where people feel welcome, but that's not to say that it can't be completely intimidating to walk into a really huge room of people. We often say if you're gonna come by yourself, let our team know so that we can place you with someone who might be able to take you under their wing, so to speak. But really, again, networking is all about the things we talked about before. It's about being out of your comfort zone. It's about meeting new people.
Emma: 00:31:18 I mean, I'm a big time introvert as well, which is kind of weird. It's not lost on me, the irony of that, that I run this biggest network for women but I'm a complete introvert. All that means is just you're energized by being alone, and that's certainly ... I can do our events, but I need to retreat, just for a little cup of tea or a [crosstalk 00:31:40].
Kristina: 00:31:40 I'm exactly the same.
Emma: 00:31:42 Yeah. So I just think it's about practicing and putting yourself out there, and just learning what works for you. Like I said, those five little words can often be a really great way to break into a conversation. And again, no one's gonna reject you or turn you down.
Kristina: 00:31:56 Great tips, thank you. In my recent book, I talk a lot about the question of who, as in who can help me, and who can I learn from. Are there any key people who have helped you along your journey?
Emma: 00:32:09 Yeah. A ton. And I've been lucky in that, just through the pure virtue of what we do at Business Chicks is presenting pretty amazing world leaders and educators and speakers. So just by virtue of being in that space, I've got to travel with those people, I've got to have dinner with them, I've got to see what they're like, both on and off stage, and believe me, they can often be two very, very, very different things.
Kristina: 00:32:36 I bet.
Emma: 00:32:38 Yeah, which is fun. It's really fun to see how that all plays out. And for me personally, as a leader, I've learned a lot of from that. You learn a ton from people in their content and who they're being on stage, but I am in the really fortunate position of seeing who people are and what their leadership is when they're off stage and how they treat people, what they demand. I mean, yeah. There's been hundreds.
Emma: 00:33:01 And it's not always the super famous people that stand out. Obviously, the completely obviously one ... I mean, 'cause we're talking about Necker right now and I've totally got recency bias from this, but I've known Richard Branson for probably close to a decade now. He spoke for Business Chicks a bunch of times in Australia, and that's how I got to know him and then we've had a lovely friendship over that time, which has been pretty incredible to experience. I learned from him ... I do learn a lot from him in terms of being a businessperson, but I also see how he is with his family, so I definitely try and emulate him and Joan's parenting values and just who they are as family people. I mean, I don't know if this is a secret or not, but he recently invited me to go ... He got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and that was a really ...
Kristina: 00:33:56 Mmm, I saw that.
Emma: 00:33:57 Yeah, beautiful time. It was lovely and we had a big party afterwards and the media and all that stuff, which I couldn't care less about, but ... That was all great, but before he got up and gave his speech, I was actually there next to him, just behind the lectern, and I saw that someone had sticky taped a picture of his father to the lectern so that when he went up there, he'd see his dad. His dad passed it'll be going on, I don't know, two years ago now. And I just thought, that's awesome. He's a guy who's one of our most revered entrepreneurs, celebrating an achievement which a lot of people would think is pretty cool, but someone has thought that what would matter to him most is to have a picture of his dad and how proud his dad would have been to have been there that day. I just thought, "That's cool."
Emma: 00:34:47 I actually don't give a shit about all the gloss and the celebrity. I couldn't care less, 'cause all that fades and actually doesn't mean anything. Anyone can craft a brand and craft a personal brand and tell a story and with the world that we live in in social media, many people do it very, very well. Not with truth or not with authenticity, but they can get famous quickly for whatever they do, and that stuff just doesn't excite me in the slightest. But to see who someone is actually as a person is ... I don't know, that stuff really inspires me, so I think that's probably the example that comes to mind the most.
Emma: 00:35:24 But there's been hundreds, honestly. People we've toured with, Julia Gillard when she released her memoirs and she was actually super fun and funny and we just had a hoot with her. She was brilliant, obviously a very, very bright woman. But behind the scenes, I sometimes was definitely feeling of, "I wish Australia had experienced what we got to see," because we might have had a very, very different outcome. People work around Huffington and Agapi, who I know you know very well. They're always fun and I always learn something from being with them. They're the two most direct women I've ever met.
Kristina: 00:36:02 I know. I love them.
Emma: 00:36:04 [crosstalk 00:36:04] I love them. I mean, they scare me. I'm very [inaudible 00:36:06] I became very close to both of them, but they scare me. Every single time I see them, they're just so direct and leave no prisoners. And I love that and I learn from that, and I think we as Australians need to learn more about that style. But yeah, there are hundreds and hundreds, possibly thousands, of pretty amazing women and men that I've got to hang out with and meet and learn from.
Kristina: 00:36:32 Absolutely.
Emma: 00:36:33 If we turn the tables on you, who comes to mind for you?
Kristina: 00:36:36 Well, actually funny you're saying that, because the three you mentioned. Obviously, Richard Branson, super inspiring for what he has done and what he's doing to the world. And also I love that he's so much into my favorite subject, which is really create your Dream Life, and he often has quotes about dreams and he also wrote a little thing in my book, because he's so connected with his dreams and inspiring other people, so he's absolutely up there for me. But also, Arianna and Agapi. I'll never forget when I actually met Agapi, because we were connected through Arianna only online, and then I went to an event and she was there. She is just an incredible woman. And every time I'm in New York now, I connect with her and I always have the best night and we have so many laughs. I love that you can be inspired but also, life is short, so having fun is obviously very important.
Kristina: 00:37:31 But there are so many people and you are absolutely up there as well, because I think you are a real example on what is possible to create your Dream Life. And when I say Dream Life, it's never a perfect life, and I think hearing your story and for people to read your book, it's not about having it. It's about winging it to whatever degree that is. When I saw your title, I thought, "I'm gonna learn so much about this. It's probably what I need." 'Cause I'm more of a ... I like planning and I'm a bit of a control freak, so it's good to get out of my comfort zone. But saying that, when you have a small business, you have to wing it every single day.
Kristina: 00:38:09 You were definitely a great inspiration, and I always look at you ... obviously I know you, so I know a bit more than most people from the outside, but I think it's so inspirational to see you starting from scratch and having five children. And then moving as well, 'cause I think Richard, if I'm not wrong, inspired you to do that, yeah? To move to another country. If you wanted to be successful, you needed to move? Is that correct?
Emma: 00:38:32 Yeah. I think what Richard brings is a true sense of the world, of having this purely global outlook. And now it's kind of greater than that, what he's taking on with commercializing space travel is just ... He just continues to lift the thinking every single time. Yeah, he said one time ... I don't even know what context the conversation was, but it was basically something like, "Oh, you do business in Australia? Oh gosh, is it even possible to make money in Australia?" Meaning he had business interests there and never really made any money, and for him, the action was always in the UK and the US and other regions. And that, like a light bulb, just kind of switched on for me and I thought, "Wow, if i want to be who I say I want to be ..." And that's about looking outward while remaining inward ... "I've gotta kinda learn about a bigger market. I've got to take bigger risks. I've got to figure out how I can still retain my business in Australia but not have me be operational in it."
Emma: 00:39:43 So he was the real ... Yeah, it's like the switch kind of pressing for me when it came to making a decision to move to the US. We moved to LA three years ago now, and look, it's been everything and way more than I would have expected. The first probably two years was a complete write off. I spent most of it being a bundle of nerves and failing spectacularly and being worried and stressed the whole time as I tried to get the business off the ground in the US and failed spectacularly at it. But I feel like we're coming up to the three year anniversary and I'm just so grateful for the experience.
Emma: 00:40:23 I feel a bit embarrassed to say this, but I never had really failed. We've all failed. We all fail every single day, but not spectacularly as ... We probably invested around $2 million, which we might as well have taken into the backyard and just burned over a fire with some marshmallows for the kids. It just dissipated in front of our very eyes. I know for a lot of your listeners, that may be a fortune of money. For some it may not be of much consequence, but it was just a very, very, very stressful time trying to work out ... I had the sort of duality of trying to keep the culture of the Australian business running while integrating a new CEO, who I put into the seat, and whilst she is and has been a very, very, very dear close friend of mine for many, many years now, we both struggled with how much I should be in the business and how much I should be out.
Emma: 00:41:13 So I was trying to keep that whilst trying to get the business started up in the States while I had pretty much a newborn baby at the time. And the kids were going crazy trying to work out where they fitted in and my gorgeous husband has always been a sort of on and off entrepreneur and always dabbled in certain things but has never kind of had that much as a really steady income, so I've always been the breadwinner and it's always mainly fallen to me. So I had all these pressures focused on me. But you know what I have really learned from the experience and what it's really taught me is that success is never final. It's never final. And also failure is not fatal. It does not need to kill you. I think it's the courage to keep showing up that counts the most, and I think you'd find that goes for almost any business, no matter what size it is. It's really how much can we just continue to show up and continue to keep trying.
Emma: 00:42:11 I've honestly learned so much and I'm so grateful for those experiences, and I feel a much better and more equipped entrepreneur. And I also think being here and being away from your business ... I often say ... I don't often say. I've only just really realized this, but I often think it because it's been such a huge realization for me. I've gotten myself into a situation where I realized my original goal of making myself redundant from my business ... which I think for a lot of entrepreneurs is a really huge achievement, so I'm really proud of myself for ticking off that original goal and keeping the business very, very healthy, keeping our culture really beautiful and healthy, keeping the profitability where it was, if not ... It's certainly grown since I left. So I've realized the entrepreneur's dream of making myself redundant from my business but still having a business that delivers me an income, which is fantastic. So I have this freedom for which I can create now.
Emma: 00:43:04 I'm gonna turn 40 next year and I have this sense of real ... You call me a calm person. It's like next level calmness. I'm just so calm about what is coming up. I think if I had not had this US experience and I had been approaching my 40th, I think I might have been filled with a lot more angst, and, "Have I done enough? What have I achieved? Is it going fast enough? Is it going slow enough?" I just am not about that at all. Really, for me, my Dream Life is being able to have the space in which to create. And for me, that's always been about creating experiences for others. That's 100% what lights me up. If I could be doing that 100% of my time, that would totally be my Dream Life. And kind of living it. This is kind of it. And I say it to my husband all the time. It's not gonna get much better in five years time, we'll have a bit more money. This is it. This is how good it gets, and it is so bloody good.
Emma: 00:44:00 If you wake up every day thinking, "Oh my goodness. We are living this life and we should be so grateful for that and we should be in it and not projecting forward and worrying and stressing." And really, that's kind of what the winging it thing is about, as well. It's about being here and not projecting too far into the future and worrying, worrying what others are doing. It really just comes back to that being kind to yourself and also having the courage to try new stuff and having the courage to be okay with where you're currently at, 'cause that takes a lot of guts, I reckon.
Kristina: 00:44:32 Absolutely. And I also think there's a really important message in here that even ... You look at your business and you think everything is perfect and successful and you made it, but there's no such thing in today's world, I think, where you made it and it's never gonna be challenging. I think those challenges ... If you grow a business, there's challenges every single day, regardless if you're small or big. And I think failure is very much part of it, and I think every learning that we've made, even if you think the marshmallows would have been better, I think the learning that you have got is incredible, and that's how you can cope with, perhaps, even more challenges in the future. And you never know what's around the corner, so it's always good to be equipped with some failures and some learnings for sure.
Kristina: 00:45:14 So, a big, crazy dream of mine is to inspire 101 million people around the world to write down three carefully considered dreams on paper and start chasing them. And I did that because it struck me a few years ago that very few people take time out to dream, to imagine the future they want, and then go and chase it. And I think that if everyone did that, it would have such a positive impact on the world. I'd love to ask you, what three dreams would you write down if you knew that anything was possible and you couldn't possibly fail, and I often say that as a start dreaming big without thinking about possible failures. What would you write down if you could do anything without failing?
Emma: 00:45:52 Okay. If I could do anything without failing, definitely the thing that comes to mind first and foremost is trying to use my leadership to impact the current climate situation we have. I totally feel hopeless at times about what we're doing to the environment, and I often think I'd love to have more time to try and figure out how I can be a bigger part of a solution. And I suppose I've just gotten to a point where I'm probably exactly like you, I do all the recycling, I carbon offset my flights, I give money to a few environmental causes. I do all this stuff, but then I think, "Okay, what next?" So it's really, for me, I would want my leadership to impact that next frontier because I just get a little bit hopeless and startled by the science and research that we're hearing. So I think that would be one thing I would do.
Emma: 00:46:42 Oh, I hate to have a selfish one, 'cause I really do try and do everything looking outward, but-
Kristina: 00:46:47 No, I think selfish is good, because then you'll be more inspired yourself to do more things for others. So I think there's no such thing as a selfish dream.
Emma: 00:46:55 Yeah, good one. Okay, so with the [inaudible 00:46:57] I would probably choose to take a year off with my kids and travel the world. Again, a big thing for me is education, and one of the questions I probably ask myself ten times a day is, "Am I giving my kids the right education?" I'm not talking about private versus public schooling. It's not about those constructs. It's just about, am I teaching them the stuff that they're gonna need to know? I spend so much of my time thinking about what I'm modeling for them. And listen, I know that no matter what we do, our kids are gonna walk away needing a whole heap of therapy anyways, 'cause that's just life, that's humans. But I think I would love to take my kids out of school and just travel with them and throw away phones and not take any iPads and just see what memories we could create. And I think-
Kristina: 00:47:52 Love that dream.
Emma: 00:47:53 Yeah.
Kristina: 00:47:53 Certainly not selfish. Just saying.
Emma: 00:47:55 No, yeah. Thanks. I think we could all benefit from that. I think one of the beautiful things to come out of us moving to the US has been the hundreds of [inaudible 00:48:04] members who have written to me or emailed me or sent me a card saying, "I watched you move your family and I just never knew it was a possibility for me until I watched you do it and I thought if she can do it with five kids, then I can do it." Again, it's not about the number, but they just saw it as, "You showed me a path that was possible," and now they're living in the south of France, they're living in the UK, or a few are living in America as well, and I just love that our action can ignite something else in them. So yeah, maybe if I take a year off and travel, other people will be inspired to do the same, so it's not entirely selfish. So, mission granted.
Emma: 00:48:40 I think I do have a really big philanthropic focus and I love your philanthropic focus with what you're doing with Tererai Trent ... I love that ... and the other organizations you support. I think my final dream would be to truly take the Business Chicks organization global and to figure out how to do that. I just have seen the impact that it's had on so many people, and it's just a vehicle with which to create impact and create change. So it's not necessarily about the business, but it's about, again, sparking that creativity, that innovation, that change, that possibility in others which really, really lights me up. I think, for me, that's definitely a third dream that's unfulfilled and still keeps me up a little bit at night and I want to figure out how to make that happen.
Kristina: 00:49:27 Three amazing dreams. Thank you so much for sharing. Absolutely inspiring for our listeners, so thank you so much.
Emma: 00:49:32 It's such a pleasure.
Kristina: 00:49:34 Before we finish off, I have to talk about time management, because I know in your book that you shared some time management hacks that we can all benefit from. I'd love you to tell us a little bit about your approach of prioritizing time. I know you mentioned before about getting help, but I'd love to see if you have any other tips for our listeners in terms of time management, 'cause I think we are all ... live very full lives and we all love to be inspired by people like you who seem to do it all, and if you have any tips for us.
Emma: 00:50:07 Yeah. Okay, so I think the first thing, whether this is in your business or your family life, what's worked for me is certainly doing what's most important. And I don't care if you have to write it at the top of your [inaudible 00:50:18] journal, or wherever you write it, but it's doing the stuff that matters, doing what's important. And I think we can all get very, very busy doing stuff that doesn't really fulfill us and doesn't serve us and might make us have a full solution that we're getting somewhere. But I see a lot of people really burnt out and really stressed, and I've certainly been that person many, many times when I've just been chasing my tail and doing stuff that might give us the comfort of, "Oh, but we're so busy," and we're doing stuff, but you're really avoiding the one or two things that have to be done.
Emma: 00:50:53 That is kind of the silver bullet for me. Doing the thing that has to be done that you're avoiding to change everything. So it might be, with your family, making sure you're around. And it's not possible always, but making sure you're around for story time and bath time. That is a big thing for me. For me, it's the one-on-one time with my kids. I really try and prioritize that, just seeing which one needs me the most and taking that and spending some time giving them that love and attention.
Emma: 00:51:21 And yeah, I mean, we talked about it a bit already in terms of the business stuff, just trying to do the stuff that you are really, really, really good at and outsourcing and delegating the rest. That can be counterintuitive at times, because I know that sometimes we feel, "Oh but I'm so good at everything and it doesn't get done a certain way," and you just gotta let that stuff go. I don't know, I love delegating and I love seeing someone do a job better than I can do it myself. I don't know, that, for me, has been a real secret of my time management. Just doing the stuff that I'm good at and trying to outsource the rest and being okay with the fact that it might not be the way that you'd do it.
Emma: 00:52:01 Yeah, I don't know, I think that-
Kristina: 00:52:04 Yeah. Some really good tips very much in line with the way I do things. I love that, so thank you very much. I'd love to finish off by asking you a few quick questions that I know our listeners would love to hear you answer. In your book, you mentioned that you stick to some fairly rigid routines and rituals at home to keep you and your family on track. How important are those rituals to you? I'd love if you could share some with us.
Emma: 00:52:26 Yeah. Our house is like a business. The way we run our house is exactly the way I run my company.
Kristina: 00:52:34 Love it.
Emma: 00:52:35 Yeah, it's like, having good people around me, it's working to a schedule. I am all about winging it, I'm about being kind of out there and crazy, but it's got to be anchored with really great systems and procedures and ... not rules. That's such a yucky word to me. But I always say the routine sets you free. So honestly, our house is like a military operation. That's actually what creates the fun and creates the craziness, because if I know that everything's taken care of and I can be free to do stupid things like dance with the kids on the tabletops, which we do all the time. So, I mean, we ... Little dorky things, like the chopping board is in the same spot every single night and every single morning because it's right next to the fruit bowl. And I make sure that we do online shopping three times a week.
Emma: 00:53:26 I don't know, it's just about having systems set up that make life easier. Like, we spend so much time looking for stuff every single day, so I make sure that the house is really ... I am a bit of a clean freak. I actually do have quite a bit of OCD like you. But I realize that OCD kind of sets you free so you can go nuts and try new things. I think it's all about the systems and the routines. I've always been a massive, massive advocate of getting babies sleep trained, because when you have a baby that does not sleep, your whole life is totally thrown into disarray and the family can't cope. So when those little babas turn four of five months, I get my beautiful sleep coach in. We actually brought her over from Australia to LA for the most recent baby. I was like, "That is so worth the money. I cannot put a price on sleep."
Emma: 00:54:19 And we just have rituals like Friday night dinner is a really big deal to my family. Right now it's winter in LA which is not that cold, but we have the fire on every night and we read stories in front of the fire as many nights a week as we can. I try and pick the kids up and drop them off as much as I can. It's not always possible, but I try and do that, and then we go for ice cream at the same place. So I'm trying to create those stories and rituals with our kids. I don't know if you think about this, but you know when you get asked, "What was your childhood like?" Or "What was your mom like?" I'm wondering what my kids are gonna say about me, so I'm really always ... What stories are they gonna tell about their childhood? What memories are they gonna remember? I don't know if I'm messing it up or doing a good job, but I think we're doing okay.
Kristina: 00:55:07 Absolutely. I think you're such an inspiration, having also four daughters. You are such an inspiration for them, so I'm not worried one little bit about that. But I do think that rituals are the one that you remember, the simple things. We have pizza Friday where we make homemade pizza, and if I make pizza on another day, everyone thinks it's Friday, so it's kind of a fun thing like that, too.
Emma: 00:55:26 Yeah. [inaudible 00:55:29] Taco Tuesdays. Like, "Wow, it's Wednesday. Don't throw the schedule out."
Kristina: 00:55:35 Exactly. So have you got any morning rituals for yourself? Do you do anything for yourself in the morning, or is it all about family?
Emma: 00:55:41 I used to. Pre-kids, I was really structured, but these days, I just don't. The mornings, to me, at the moment, are about survival. It's about walking kids out the door by 8 AM. It's honestly survival of the fittest. I'd love to say I meditate, I'd love to say I journal, I'd love to say all that. I just don't. Honestly, with the kids being so young, it's just all hands on deck in getting them out the door. And every time that door shuts, I honestly feel like I've won a gold medal at the Olympics. I'm like-
Kristina: 00:56:15 I bet. But I do really think that there's a really good saying, which I often try to tell people who are looking into my life, thinking that I do it all. I think there is a really good saying, which is, you can do anything in life. I really truly believe that if you really want to do something, you can do it, but you can't do everything at the same time. So when you actually have really, really young kids, it's really hard to do everything. So I think each thing has its time. I am so reminded now, 'cause my youngest is seven. I just realized how quickly those years went by, and when I see a baby, I'm like, "Aw, I wish I had more time to do it again." But I'm not doing that, just for the record.
Emma: 00:56:53 I was gonna say. The one thing I do ... If you talk about rituals, I certainly don't have it planned down to a finite, but I would never start my day without planning what I'm going to be doing that day. I never just jump into my inbox. I always take a couple of minutes to really just try and figure out what I'm trying to achieve that day. I always start the day with just starting one sentence at the top, and that's what would make today great. That's my own ritual. That, and coffee. They're the only two things I do.
Kristina: 00:57:21 I love that. And that leads into a really nicely fitted question, if you have a favorite kikki.K product.
Emma: 00:57:27 So many. I would be a very, very rich woman if I had not been into your store so many times over the years. My favorite-
Kristina: 00:57:36 Thank you.
Emma: 00:57:38 No, of course. And the airport thing is such a good strategy for you guys. For me, it's always been about your cards. Like you, I hand write all my holiday cards and birthday cards, so I've always been a huge and loyal customer. All your cards a re beautifully designed and that's what I love.
Kristina: 00:57:56 Thank you and actually I was going to mention that because I love, love handwritten note, and I know you are so good at that. So thank you so much for keeping the handwritten ritual alive. And also, it's so nice to take that time for yourself, I find, writing a card. But also then, obviously, receiving it, for the others, is really nice. So thank you, first for your support, but also for keeping that alive, because I think it's such a special thing that we sometimes forget 'cause it's easy to just do a text message. But there's just nothing like getting a handwritten card, in my point of view.
Kristina: 00:58:27 I'm particularly interested in learning and reading ... learning is one of my highest values. I'd love to know what your favorite book is and why.
Emma: 00:58:37 Oh gosh, so many. When I was a lot, lot younger I would read, honestly, one or two books a week. That was just something that I put so much time into. I think I just always go back to all the classics, like the Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Oh, just all those. Even those ones, Who Moved My Cheese and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Those books still hold up today. They're written, I don't know, 30, 40, 50 years ago, and they still all hold up today. So I think any of those classics, and I always encourage people to seek those out as a baseline for particularly a business education or just personal development. They were all really, really impactful for me, certainly, in my early days in business.
Kristina: 00:59:21 Yeah, absolutely. I love all the ones you mentioned that we will put in the show notes. But I love all those. I just actually pulled out ... There's a new version of Think and Grow Rich, so I'm going to read that on my next break, and I absolutely love the classics because I think they really hold for a long time and it's inspirational still. So thank you for sharing.
Kristina: 00:59:40 One last question for you. If you could go back to your younger self, say when you were in your late teens, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?
Emma: 00:59:48 I think I'd say ... I really, honestly feel like I've lived my life with a lot of velocity, with a lot of drive, with a lot of determination. But we all know there are times we could have ... not pushed. Push is not the right word, 'cause I hate that word. But we could have believed in ourselves a little bit more and just ran towards an opportunity rather than kind of held back and thought about it for too long. So I think if I were looking back at my 18- or 19-year-old self, I'd say, "Just run at the opportunities. Just run at them. It doesn't matter if you fail. Just run at them and pretend like they're yours and pretend like you're gonna win and pretend like it's all gonna be great," because it really mostly is in the end.
Kristina: 01:00:33 Love that.
Emma: 01:00:34 There's a beauty in the trying. It's not about you're gonna win all the time, but there's a beauty in the running toward opportunity and the effort that it takes and the courage that it takes and the self belief that it takes. So I think that's just what I'd say, just is run towards the opportunities and don't worry about how they're gonna turn out.
Kristina: 01:00:57 Yeah. I love that. A friend of mine actually shared the other day that his grandfather said that when he was dying that you'll never regret ... Oh, how am I gonna say this? Make sure I say it the right way. You'll only regret the things that you didn't do, not the stuff that you did, even if you sometimes made some mistakes or failure or completely stuffed it up. So really making the most of the opportunities. I have a chapter in the book about life is short, and I think sometimes we think we have so long. Even if we get to live a long life, life is pretty short, and to really do all the things you want to do now verus just waiting. It's better to kind of have some failures and have some things that you didn't get right versus not doing them. So I think that is a perfect way of ending this amazing conversation.
Kristina: 01:01:44 Thank you so much, Emma. Thank you for what you're doing to the world. I am always inspired by what you do and how you do things and how you are combining work and family and always have time for a laugh, always have time for a conversation, and are inspiring so much. So thank you for an incredible, beautiful episode. I am so excited to hopefully see you soon. Maybe we can share an Uber together and have a coffee at the same time and have a bit of a laugh.
Emma: 01:02:11 I'd love that. I look forward to it. Thanks so much for your time as well, gorgeous. Thank you.
Kristina: 01:02:18 I absolutely loved speaking with Emma. What I love most about her is her ability to focus on the truly important things in life, no matter how busy or crazy things may get. I find it truly inspiring how she made a decision to leave her university degree after realizing it wasn't right for her and by taking a chance on Business Chicks, driven by a passion to inspire women everywhere to be bold and courageous. She has grown it into Australia's largest and most influential networking community for women.
Kristina: 01:02:50 Emma is the perfect example of someone who isn't afraid to put in the hard work and give something a try. Like me, she believes life is too short not to chase your dreams or live a life you love. This is something I'm so passionate about, which is why I encourage all of you to start taking steps towards living your own Dream Lives, whatever that may be. You'll find so many helpful chapters in my book dedicated to taking those first steps and putting yourself in the driver's seat of your life. You'll also find really helpful chapters around the idea of living without regret, thinking about who can help you, and the power of starting today.
Kristina: 01:03:28 I hope this episode has inspired you to start thinking about your own dreams. And if you haven't got a copy yet, I encourage you to get a hold of my book, Your Dream Life Starts Here, and the Dream Life journal that I have created to go with it. It's a great starting point if you want guidance on your journey of uncovering and chasing your dreams.
Kristina: 01:03:47 Another great place to start is to check out my 101 Dreams audio guide at kikki-k.com\dreamlife. If you loved this episode and found it useful, be sure to subscribe and also leave us a review telling us what you thought. And please help us spread this inspiring message to even more people by posting about it on social media with the hashtag, #101milliondreamers. I really appreciate your support with my big, crazy dream to inspire 101 million people to write down three dreams on paper and go and chase them.
Kristina: 01:04:21 Until next time, don't forget to dream big and chase your dreams.