StartSpace Business Book Chat with Fiona Killackey

StartSpace Business Book Chat with Fiona Killackey

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Ingrid Josephine: Hi everyone my name is Ingrid and I'm  the events producer at StartSpace.   Welcome to the first event in our new series  Business Book Chat with today's special guest Fiona Killackey who I will introduce shortly. I'd like to  begin our event by respectfully acknowledging the   traditional custodians of the land, Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay my respect  to their elders past present and emerging. And   I'd also like to extend our acknowledgement and  respect to the traditional owners of all the lands   you're joining us from today. So now, to firstly  introduce StartSpace. We are a support service  

for early stage founders and business ideas. For  free, and for everyone. We have a range of programs   to help you develop your business including: talks.  workshops, mentoring and networking events as well   as hot desks within the State Library of Victoria  for those who are looking for a place to work and   connect in person. We also have a virtual community  that you can loop in with us via a slack channel.   Whatever your background. age, industry or  experience and even if you're only just starting  

out with an idea we want to hear from you because  we know that great ideas can come from anywhere.   Find out more and join us at  So now on to today's special guest, Fiona Killackey. Hi Fiona! Fiona Killackey: Hi Ingrid, thank you so much for  having me. Ingrid: Such a pleasure to have you. So   Fiona is the founder of My Daily Business Coach  which offers online education business coaching,   creative ideation and consulting. Fiona  is also the author of Passion Purpose Profit   so i set the hustle and build a business  you love, which was published in September   2020 by Hardie Grant books. What Fiona has created here is a resource, it's a set of tools that are  

incredibly practical with plenty of insights and  advice from her journey building her own business   and also insights into how she's helped many  clients build their own successful businesses too.   The activities diagrams and worksheets  are all super easy to follow   and help business owners or business owners to  be get to grips with what they're doing with   their business, clarify their ideas and their  strategies to build a clear path to success.   Fiona also interviews business founders from a  range of different industries at the end of each   chapter, which I found was a really enjoyable way  to shake it up before getting on to the next topic.   So now it's time to turn the tables and have Fiona  answer some questions for us today. So thanks Fiona for sharing your knowledge with us. Fiona: Oh thank you for having me, I'm super excited and also thank you   to the State Library Victoria for everything  they do. I know that I spent many times in there  

studying when I was at RMIT and it's just such  a great place and I think the fact you've got   somewhere that people can go especially after lock  down you know outside the home to to really work   on this idea that they have is awesome so thanks.  Ingrid: Amazing. So Fiona, what made you get out every day   and put to pen to paper or hands to keyboard to write your book? Fiona: So firstly when I wrote it I   had a pretty short timeline i think it was about  four months from the time we had locked in the   contract with Hardie Grant and then the book was  due and I had a newborn and an elderly father   and so I literally had four hours a week to write  this book and I had my husband and I decided   you know this is a really big goal of mine and  so we hired a nanny for four hours and that was   my time. So I didn't really have a choice, it was  like that's the time and if you don't utilize it   you're really going to be behind. So yeah I just,  I got up, I had a excel spreadsheet of literally   how many words each chapter, every section  in the chapter and so I might get up in that   four hours be like okay today you just need to  knock off these two 300 word parts and so I just   did it very methodically and but I think to  answer your question what really made me get up   was that it was just a business goal and a life  goal I always wanted to publish a book and it was   big enough that I could put other things you know  on the back burner to get this stuff happening.  

Ingrid: Yeah, great, so it was really about having a vision or a dream to do something but then   also you really set a structure and priorities and  made space for that and you weren't going to waste   time and money because you had that nanny or you  had just that gap in your schedule and you had to   make it work and get it done. Fiona: Yeah, totally, totally  and I had feeding and stuff so it was that four   hours and that was it for the week. Ingrid: Amazing. So put putting some real structure and    creating almost like a a timer or some  some pressure around it is the way   perhaps get get something like this so big done  in four months. Fiona: Yeah, I think it was, I mean I've  

written before you know been a long time writer  and for articles and newspapers and stuff and   I, and I know myself and I tend to procrastinate  procrastinate procrastinate so having that short   deadline worked for me but for other people  you know maybe 12 months is a better timeline.   Ingrid: Yeah for sure I think like in business  everyone maybe has a different way   of working or a different mindset but  in the end you've got to do what works   for you to get done. Fiona, what's the critical  thing that founders need to do first when starting   their business? Like what are the really  important things to learn how to do yourself   or to focus on? Fiona: So the biggest thing is and  it sounds so simple but why are you doing   this are you starting a business because everyone  around you thinks you should start a business or   you kind of see all these people on Instagram  and you're like oh I should start a business.   Why are you doing it? Because you just actually  hate the people that you work with right now but   you actually don't need that job or the industry  you just don't like the people you're working with   and so I think it's really getting clear on  you know why am I doing this and besides money   you know why am I doing this? I'm getting really  clear on the values that are going to guide you   and then really important and I talk about this a  bit in the book is getting clear on where is your   money going to come from like really clear and  for some people you know very small amount of the   society they don't have to worry about money but  for most of us we do and we have bills to pay and   I know for me when I started my business I did, I  didn't have the luxury of like I'm just going to   take 12 months and see what I want to do, it was I needed clients from the day I finished my last job   to be paying the bills straight away and so I  had to actually map that out what's it going   to look like what's my absolute survival  income what's the least I could get by on   and then I also told myself I'll give myself a  year if it doesn't work out I'll go back to the   job but at least I know I tried. So I think those  three things super clear on why you're doing this,   outside of money, understanding your values you  know what's going to guide you and then the third   is how are you going to make money like what are  those revenue streams? Where are they coming from?  Ingrid: I mean in the end, the business is meant to bring  in money or if you're a non-profit you do   need to bring in money to help those causes or  those organizations that you want to support.

What kind of person do you think makes a  successful entrepreneur or startup founder?   The book title alludes to the hashtag hustle  culture the obsession with productivity and   just relentless work is having their nose to the  grindstone. What makes a business owner likely to   succeed in those early days or in the first year ? Fiona: no and I think this is quite you know a lot of   people will disagree with me, but I do not think  that. I don't hustle and that's why I've said   sidestep the hustle. I can't stand hustle culture,  I think it's really been hugely detrimental   to people's mental health and I think  particularly people starting out, young people   seeing this rise and grind and here I am working  until 3am that does nothing for your mental health   or physical health or your spiritual health so I  definitely don't think that I think people need to   be open-minded they need to be developing a thick  skin because you will get told oh why are you   doing that or you know why are you qualified to do  that you'll get the negatives, you'll get naysayers   so I think having some sort of thick skin but  I also think just having an open mind and being   curious. I always say stay calm and curious because  if something comes and it's negative if you can be   curious about oh why is that happening? Or what  could I have done differently? Or what might I   say to my friend if they were in the same position  that's going to alleviate the stress and overwhelm   and often the whole I say in the book you know  running a business is like going to psychology   sessions or psychology therapy where you are  the psychologist and you are also the patient   because you're going to just have so many  conversations with yourself, why am I doing this?   Why are you doing it and then go through those  things so I think just being really open-minded   staying curious knowing that it's not  the end of the world if the business fails.   So many businesses have failed and people get back  up they build another business or they go back   and get a job you know it's not we are in a very  privileged position anyone who can even consider   starting a business so I think just taking that  on board and staying calm and staying curious.  

Ingrid: Yeah that's great advice and for people starting  their own business. I mean the stats say that   usually it's someone's third business idea that  really does take off so all of what's happened   before that if you've had another business  or you've changed your product offering or   done something different and you ended up at a  different point than you thought when you started   the business all of that's a learning experience  and you can only really learn that yourself and in   a practical way when you're in it. Fiona: I totally agree and this is my third business. I used to sell   earrings and fashion stuff way back in my early  20s and then I started a copywriting business   and like a website branded content and then and  ghost writing for celebrities and then this   is my third business so entirely true the third  one stuck Ingrid: the third one's the one that really   flies maybe. So there's a segment in the book  about setting your inner marketing hater free and lots of businesses today are founded with  goals to have an impact and to be driven by   purpose beyond just making money they want  to be ethical, they want to be sustainable.   So is it possible to sell your vision and  follow your dreams without selling out?   Fiona: Totally. I mean of course it depends what your goals are  and if your goals are like oh my gosh I want to  

get to 23 million in 12 months maybe there'll be  some kind of, I don't know compromises you might be   making, but for most people definitely it's about  finding who's your audience like who's the niche   if you're creating ethical products who wants  to buy them and then talking to them in a real   transparent way and making sure that when  you're talking say about this ethical product   you're not just talking about the features of the  products but you're talking about the benefits.   So in the book I talk about this as well there's  an idea of kind of this ladder mentality of people   knowing what the product does why it benefits  them and then how it actually relates to   what they you know perceive to be the values and  beliefs they have around the world so if you have   a value of belief that you know we should all be a  community and we should all look after the planet   that might seem very out there if  someone's just trying to sell this you know   bamboo toothbrush but if you can connect what  you're selling to that belief and that value   system that your audience has then you can  mark it well and you can sell well but I think   sometimes people are scared to actually sell  in that way or they get fixated on just keep   talking about the product just keep  talking about the color and where it's   made as opposed to the emotional benefits of  somebody buying into that product or service.  Ingrid: Yeah, amazing, and if that bamboo toothbrush ends  up being stocked by the biggest supermarkets   across the nation as long as well as your local  you know organic shop and the farmers market then   that's reaching so many people and doing so  much good. Fiona: Totally. There are two businesses that   have done this incredibly well, both out of the US,  but Warby Parker is one. They started you know four   guys in college they started trying to sell  glasses. They were thinking like wire glasses so  

expensive they're basically just plastic and so  they investigated that and they have turned that   idea in less than 10 years into a billion dollar  product a billion dollar company but they're   also giving back so much to communities with you  know eye exams with reading programs with one for   one kind of program and the other one is Ever Lane  and they create really beautiful basic pieces   and actually you can go to their website and  they'll show you exactly how much it cost at   the factory, where their factories are, and  again they're a huge business they've done   really really well but though both of them have  stayed true to that initial question you asked me,   you know, what are we trying to do? Why are we  in this? What are the values we want to live by   and then how are we making our money? Ingrid: Amazing. So it's really exciting to have a new business idea.   You know inspiration strikes in the  shower or over the summer break people   have been away from their desk at work and  been you know perhaps at a barbecue and   chatted with some friends about a great business  idea but it's common for business owners after   that excitement to run out of energy or  or just to face lots of business stress   as things start to get more complicated. So what  is your advice for people to keep motivated and   push through when they're facing challenges  to actually thrive and grow in a business?   Fiona: I think, and it sounds a bit twee and people be  like oh that's such a cheesy thing, but I think it   really does come back to your values. Like what how  do you want to live your life? And keep coming back   to those... so I actually have, I'm literally not  deciding the stage this, this is on my computer at   all times these, are my values and I, it's family  freedom, education and kindness and so if I get an   opportunity or if I'm getting stressed about  you know oh my gosh there's too much work on   and I will keep coming back to that and then I'll  learn how to you know set boundaries say no turn   down work set up better systems so that I've  got my time back so that I can be with my family.  

Keep having freedom, there's definitely, there will  be times in every single business owner's journey   where the thought of going to work back for  somebody else and just being an employee is   so tempting it would be like oh my god why don't  i just go back I get holiday pay, I get sick pay,   I get you know so much stuff but for me I keep  coming back to well I'm not going to see my family   if I'm ahead of marketing at a big corporate. I  mean, you know I'll be expected to fly here there   and everywhere going to events. Freedom, it's not  freedom for me to work for one particular company   and so I'll keep coming back to those values  I think that if you can let your values really   guide you and also not just when we talk about  brand values people often think oh how does it   externally come across. So if one of your values  is like empowerment it might be, oh I'm pushing you  

know female empowerment, I'm pushing diversity, I'm  pushing things on social media that is externally   facing you need to make sure that your values  are aligned internally so if you're if you're   having a company and you've got staff and you're  like yeah we're all about empowerment you know   making sure that there's diversity in your staff  making sure that you know if you're about female   empowerment. What are your domestic violence policy  leads, what are your leads around parental child   care. Majority of it is done by women still so it's  about really staying true to what your values are   but also making sure those values are aligning  externally with your brand and marketing and   internally as well. Does that make sense? Ingrid: Yeah and you need to live that within your company and then   bring that to life in the product. Fiona: Yeah and also I should say there will be times that you have to  

work down hard like that's just it it's not like  oh it's all smooth sailing from day one. There   will be peaks and troughs but you just want to  make sure that you're not consistently at this like, staying up till 3 a.m every day, it's just not  sustainable for anyone. Ingrid: Yeah absolutely and   really important going back to your discussion  around like mental health and sort of resilience   looking after yourself in those  points where it's really stressful is super important. Fiona: And I should sorry, I know you're about to jump to the next question, I should also mention getting a   group around you, you know cultivating --and talk  about that in the book as well --cultivating a crew   if you can you know there'll be times when my  motivation dips and I've got some really good   business friends I talk to each week and you  know I might be down here but they're up here   and they're like Fiona, what about this, what about  this and I'm all excited again suddenly just from   that one conversation so I think make sure you've  got a good group of people around you as well to   keep you motivated. Ingrid: Yeah, so it's kind of peer motivation but also maybe advice maybe you're   stuck on something and you or even just you know  a bit of a change in your mood or mindset could   be able to get you through that that  stress. Yeah fantastic so Fiona,   what is one piece of practical advice that  you want the audience to take away today? Either their career, their future business success  or even some personal advice? Fiona: Oh goodness, I think, you know, this life is short and I know  people say that all the time but you really want   to be really clear on like how like what's the  legacy you want to leave. What kind of life do  

you want to have made for yourself and for your  loved ones? Unfortunately in the last three   and a half years I've lost both of my parents,  both very suddenly, with no you know, my mum   she wasn't feeling well and within 40 minutes she  was gone. And so, that has really awakened again   you know life is short and also you can have  you can have all the money, you can make all   the money, and then at the end of your life if  you're not surrounded by people who absolutely   love you and are going to be there for you in  the harder part of your life when you know ill   health and everything gets into it what's the  point of anything really and it's kind of a hard   place to be but I really do think life is short. If  you're in a job right now and you're watching this   and you're like I hate going to work, you have to  think 30% of your life, and half of your waking life   is at that job so is that really what you want  to be doing you know is it worth spending a   year trying a business or trying you know  a new industry or a different type of job   and seeing if you enjoy it. Like we don't have to,  we're not our parents generation. We don't have   to stay in a job for 47 years and get this great  pension at the end. It's just you know life is  

short. Do what makes you happy and have a go, just  have a go. That's the best that can happen you know.   Fiona: Amazing. You know and I love it how you don't say  what's the worst that can happen it's what's the   best that can happen? You know, to be optimistic and  brave about what changes people could make and I think as well with starting businesses, I mean for those people who haven't started their business   yet or they're you know working for someone and  they have this idea on the side keep exploring   that idea on the side like do your research,  dive into resources, really think about your   values and what you want to do with the  business don't just throw away your income   after you know Sunday night come down where  you're depressed going to work the next day.   You know, keep it keep it going on the side and  then when when you have actually got that idea you know make make that leap and and try it. Fiona: yeah and there's nothing to say that you have to have  

a full-time business ever. I mean you could still  have that side hustle and work part-time. I mean   that could work for you and your lifestyle as well  yeah before I quit my job I spent a good six   months you know planning it out while I was still  getting this pay going and meeting with people on   weekends validating my assumptions getting clients  to like hire me getting contracts in place and   really working through it all and so and each year  it's been you know reiteration of what I thought I   I'm, I'm not six years in, in the same place  that I was in the first year. Ingrid: Yeah, wow thanks Fiona.   So that's about all we have time for today but I'd  like to just recap with some tips from Fiona, so some three tips from Fiona about what to do when  you're first starting your business is to really   understand your 'why' as a business owner. What is  the purpose for what you're doing? Why is that   product important? Think about how your values  align with that business and the product or the   service that you're offering and how are you  gonna make money in revenue? I mean it's nice to   have a hobby but the amount of work that goes into  building a business you want it to actually have a   payoff in money or as we said for those who might  be working in non-profits to actually be raising   funds to be able to make a difference to  the organizations or the causes you want to.   Some other things that are really important  for entrepreneurs and founders is, one, both   be open-minded and optimistic. Hope, you know hope,  and and try what what's what's the best that could   happen but then I think as well having having  a thick skin that things might not always go right   or people will say oh how's your little business  going and and they don't really take it seriously   or understand it but if you are true to your  vision and you know stay without curiosity   and and being calm in the face of everything  that's to come it's a good, it's a good way to   start and a good mindset to have. And the  last thing Fiona's advice which I think is  

really important for all of us, is, life is short  and all of us know that we can't anticipate what's   around the corner so why not give it a try and  and try something new come out of your comfort   zone and see what kind of amazing businesses you folk out there could create. Fiona: Yes, I'm excited.  Ingrid: Thank you so much Fiona. So folks at home to read 'Passion Purpose Profit.' You can access the book   in the collection of the State Library Victoria  or you can buy your own copy from our friends   at Readings bookshop, also in the State Library or online at their website. So Fiona, where can   people head to learn more about you and to connect?  Fiona: So um three places if you're on Instagram come and   send me a dm and tell me what you loved about this  talk I would really love to connec.t I'm just at my   daily business coach or one word you can go to and forward slash free  

stuff you can find a bunch of free stuff. It's also  in the navigation and then I run a podcast and   it comes out every single week twice a week with  a bunch of tips and small business interviews and   that's just anywhere that you listen to podcast,  the my daily business coach podcast. Ingrid: Awesome, thank   you so much Fiona I really appreciate you  sharing with us today and for creating this   helpful resource for business owners so once  again so thrilled to have you and those out there   in the audience let's give Fiona a virtual round  of applause. Fiona: Thank you thanks so much for having   me, I really really appreciate this. Thanks for your time too Ingrid. Ingrid: Thanks Fiona, have a great day. Fiona: Thank you.

2021-03-01 20:29

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