I try to listen to what others have to say and when someone gives me advice, I usually take it.
I have these two men in my life that are mentors. They are the two men throughout the world that I hold in the highest business esteem. Yes, the world. Not just Australia, but the world.
Their names are Jack Cowin and Peter Ivany. If you don't know who they are, Google them. It will be well worth your while. They are not your average 'smart cookies', they are briliant businessmen - beyond the brilliance of anyone else I have ever met (and I have met people worth hundreds of billions of dollars and spent quality time with them). I think these two guys are better.
It's the kind of setup dreams are made of.
I met both of these people when I was in my twenties. I was green, eager to learn, excitable, fascinated by life, adventurous, and super keen to do something amazing in business - but I didn't quite know what that was.
My skills are in marketing: strategic marketing, investor relations, public relations, social media, marketing automation - all for companies that are incredibly unsexy. They are B2B types in technology, biotechnology, digital, medical, logistics and manufacturing. You get the picture I am sure.
Over the years I have grown significantly and I would attribute much of that to the people I meet and my travels. The things I am constantly exposed to and the people who have achieved more than I ever even want to achieve are inspiring to say the least.
I am 42 years old next Friday and gosh my life has gone by so quickly. Yet now is the time for reflection and a bit of self-love - not the weird kind.
Which brings me back to my mentors, who have given me some great advice recently. Firstly, Jack said that I would be best served by using my already existing resources in Australia to grow here rather than expand internationally. He was right. I was wrong. I just wanted the adventure and to see where I could take the business. It worked in many ways - mostly financially. But that kind of lifestyle is a huge stress on your personal life and living in hotels really sucks.
But smart men like Jack know that if you scale your existing resources and focus on bringing in more clients, you will ultimately achieve greater profits and a better overall business with less stress personally and professionally.
Then of course the legendary Peter Ivany, (I call him that because his story is inspirational and I can't wait for you to read it in the next edition of Marketing Eye magazine), gave me some insight into how important it is at my age to put "Fuck You Money Away". Sorry for the language but it is exactly what we call it in entrepreneurs speak.
I spend so much of my own money on the business and this phenomenal life that I lead, that I am probably not putting enough away. What if I was hit by a bus - something that I need to think about. Sure I would have money, but is it serious enough to last a lifetime in the lifestyle that I have become accustomed to.
I am developing some serious technology right now and to do that I need to use up a lot of cash. I am going put a bit of my own money in, but I will also go out to investors - which is scary in so many ways. It puts me in front of people in a way that I haven't had to do previously.
I would like to thank Peter and Jack. Thank you for your inspiration, time, and excellent advice. I am taking it and making changes where they need to be made.
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Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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