I’ve been on 17 flights, to everywhere from Katherine in the Northern Territory and Moama in regional New South Wales to the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland and about 10 other destinations. It’s safe to say I am ready for my couch.
But I feel incredibly fortunate to be asked to speak all over the place these days and for those of you who have read my book Daring & Disruptive, you will know it’s a far cry from someone who out of fear didn’t speak publicly for three years… now it happens at least twice a week!
This past month has been the busiest, and even more varied than most, with a lot of events in rural and regional Australia. It was a beautiful reminder of just how vast the landscape is, but also how strong, independent, innovative, passionate and determined Australians are. We shared tears and laughter and stories of growth and hardship, and my heart became absolutely swollen with pride for just how far and wide entrepreneurship and creativity is flowing – there are no boundaries to that spirit, from the city to the country and across personal backgrounds and social demographics.
Now you’ll understand why we have made this ‘the Aussie issue’ and have featured Liam Hemsworth on our cover. Apart from being an awesome shot (the moment I saw it, I pointed to the screen and said to our art team, ‘That is it, that’s the cover – off you go!’), he is the epitome of the Australian spirit – hardworking, grounded, absolutely nailing it but also not letting fame affect him (isn’t that refreshing). He’s one of our biggest exports on the world stage right now and we couldn’t be prouder.
There are a stack of other Aussies in here to be proud of as well and I can’t name them all even though they are all equally worthy, but a quick shout-out to the incredible Maggie Beer (who knew she was such a free-spirited risk taker?), the host of Australians shaking up Silicon Valley and those infiltrating galleries in New York, the beautiful charity efforts of Beard Season and Movember, rising new brands like Valley Eyewear through to stalwarts like Ginger & Smart and the talented Wayne Denning, who was the first Australian to create a segment for Sesame Street.
Also in this issue is the incredible Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York. Few people have ignited our Facebook and Instagram feeds with such raw bursts of humanity – good and bad – like this New Yorker. Our interview with him is candid and insightful. The night after his agent called to say he had become a New York Times number one bestseller, Brandon hit the streets to work. Normally, two out of three people agree to be photographed and interviewed but that night, 10 people in a row turned him down.
Life and success – it’s a journey that’s complex for us all and one that is never over.
Last month also included Mental Health Week and it was beautiful to see so many shares across social media and traditional media highlighting such an important topic. In a bid to always be authentic, I’ll share that I had my own meltdown this month, which brought me to my knees in a very big way – it messed with my head and forced me to ask for help more than usual.
Coincidentally, it happened the night before Mental Health Week started – a note from the universe, perhaps?
Whatever the case, it was a good reminder that we always need to prioritise our health over a fast-paced, never-a-dull-moment life. It’s easy to let routines and rituals slide when the schedule swells, but they can be key to a whole, healthy, balanced life. I believe the universe only throws at us what we can handle and that there are lessons everywhere, so for that, I am glad for the big tap on my shoulder I received this month. The lesson: S-L-O-W down.
This coming month, I plan to spend more time with our individual readers. Don’t worry, I’ll do it slowly. I love doing super cool and fun things when I travel (like the helicopter ride I took over Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge this month), but above all else, I love delving into the lives of our readers and having real, present, connected conversations when time permits.
So, on Thursday, November 26, 2015, I am making myself available to spend the day with anyone who wants it (after a speaking gig in Wagga, I spent a morning walking the streets and chatting to business owners about everything from revenue streams to what they were eating for lunch and I LOVED it). Email ideas for what we can do together to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll sift through the suggestions and create an itinerary.
Please nothing touristy like climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge (unless you clean the bridge and then I will hang suspended with a harness and help you do it). I’d just love to be part of your everyday life – dinner with your mum, attending your staff meeting, putting graffiti on a wall (legally) in Alexandria. Heads up: I do like a lot of fun, a robust business discussion and am often drawn to the weird and wacky. Maybe the next stop will be Hobart or Cairns. See you soon.