February 16

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Women In Business Share Their Learnings

By Annette Densham


Go into business, they said. It will be fun, they said. Be your own boss and run your own race, they said. What ‘they’ didn’t tell you was being in business is like a rollercoaster ride, with incredible highs and sometimes crushing lows.

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In this COVID-19 world we live in, so many small businesses are facing challenges they didn’t count on, and no idea on how to navigate through it. But the entrepreneurial spirit is strong; with many businesses pivoting and changing, adapting to a new way of doing business.


Running a business is one of the most powerful personal and professional development times of a person’s life. There is so much you don’t know until you have to know it. But when you do ‘get’ the lesson, it is incredibly empowering.


These five women in business have learnt some valuable lessons about running their own race and share their stories on what no one tells you about being a start-up to the power of asking for help.





Lynda Pedder, founder of Poppy’s Chocolate


One of Australia’s best chocolatier Lynda has been in business for 15 years and says she wished she knew how hard it would be to have her own business and how difficult the journey would be with more troughs than peaks.


“However, I would rather take risks and try than live a predictable life working for someone else,” she said. “I should have followed my heart and intuition more with the way I wanted to manage rather than run it like I thought I “should”. It took me a long time to understand I was thought of as aggressive, not assertive, and I modified the way I related to people because of this.”


Lynda advices for new business not to be afraid to ask people for help or ask questions. “Read books and invest in yourself and your personal development,” Lynda said.





Bec Lloyd, a journo, author, mum of three, and foodie


Bec left an executive role to start a consulting business and then started a side-hustle, UnYucky Families, helping families with family meals that goes far beyond recipes.


She believes it’s important, when setting up a business, to decide upfront if this is a business you want to be able to sell or step back from one day.


My first business – Becncall Communication – is one that relies 100% on my presence. My second business – UnYucky Families – is very deliberately one I want to be able to expand for 5-10 years and then sell, or step back, and enjoy reflecting on the good I was able to do,” Bec said.


“Neither outcome is right or wrong but knowing what outcome you want for your business really changes the way you plan and work for it.”


Randa Habelrih founder of Mates and Model MATES


Randa is on a mission to encourage genuine inclusion for families and people with autism. She believes it’s not enough to be aware of autism; it’s time to be more proactive and work towards empowering people with autism as valued members of our community. Starting and running a not for profit has its own challenges.


Randa said it is important to get to know other people in this space and look for what they are not doing.


“Start out with the end in mind, knowing clearly what you want to achieve. Hold onto that vision. It’s not always easy but when you have the bigger picture in your mind, you can maintain your focus and determination. The bigger picture is the difference you’re going to make to the world. Hold onto that, steer the course, and don’t give up,” Randa said.


Oliva Jenkins Is An eCommerce business and marketing consultant


Olivia coaches leaders from the fashion, beauty, and health industries to increase their productivity and profitability.


Launching her business in August 2019, she has experienced extraordinary growth, rapidly growing to a six-figure business. She said there’s no such thing as the perfect time to start a business.


“It’s always the perfect time. There’s a great deal of fear around getting started and people believe that the fear means it’s not the right time but hesitating now isn’t going to make you more successful down the line. When I took the leap I realised that being ready is not a feeling, it’s a decision – you just know it’s time and you do what you have to do to make it work,” Olivia said.


Empowerment coach Katrina Wurm


Katrina supports women who expected one thing and got another. Having studied psychology and counselling, and with degrees in business, human resources management and industrial relations, she’s invested over 27 years working with people at QANTAS – training and facilitating them to better outcomes.


Her advice to new business is to invest in a coach. “Get a business coach from the start. They help you understand the process and the various business aspects you need to know. Sustainable and long-term growth relies on understanding business processes and should not be left to chance,Katrina said.


“Most people start a business because they have a passion for what they do, it is what they want to concentrate on but at the beginning of the business journey you have to get the basics right, otherwise you have to go back and clean up down the track. Finding someone to help you with the business side of the business, will help you avoid the rabbit hole of trying to work it out.”


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Annette Densham

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About the Author

Annette Densham is an international award-winning publicity expert with a 30 plus year career in newspapers – The Australian, Financial Review, and Daily Telegraph, magazines (print and digital) and corporate communications. She uses her expertise to teach small business people how to use their stories to connect with the world and build influential brands.Annette is also a stand-up comedian, and as an author, trainer, mentor and speaker, she weaves her story magic everywhere.

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