When part of your business upstages another

We are dealing with an interesting issue at the moment. Yes, I know . . . so what’s new? A start up and a business at any phase of its development has ‘interesting’ issues. It goes with the territory. But I thought this one was of interest to brand managers and business development people. I’d be interested to hear  anyone’s thoughts about it, actually.


I began to feel quite diffident about networking events, after having attended a great many over the years only to find I was going home with business cards I never referred to. This was not because the people I met weren’t good or their qualifications impressive. I just found I had no need of their particular skills.

So I had decided that I was better off targeting my meeting business contacts by attending seminars in relevant areas.

However, I have recently reviewed my position on this, after attending a networking event based on the concept of speed dating.

Sharing knowledge

This last week was full of opportunities to learn about new things. My constant refrain is to never allow myself to become boring. Finding ways to learn something new or to take me away from the familiar is a challenge I am always willing to take up. This is purely for selfish reasons. I like myself better when I am learning. I feel like an interesting person to be around. I also remind myself that one of the important ways to do this is to put myself alongside interesting people and to listen to what they have to say; listen, in other words, to the stories they have to tell.

Writers are a mirror on society

Writers are mirrors on society. This is especially so for creative writers. While they create fictional characters, environments and events the way those three elements interact are drawn from experiences and observations of the ‘real’ world.

Sport reveals character

My taiji teacher once said to me that how a person practices taiji reveals his or her nature. I have thought about that often, and often wondered what my daily efforts say about me.

As a consequence of that statement, I watch sports differently. One of my favourites is tennis, especially the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne. At the moment, I am limited to watching it on television but I hope to watch it live one day.

What is real power?

The World Health Organisation recently reported that over one in three women experience violence from a partner or family member. New Zealand matches that global statistic. We were reminded that family violence threads through our society just last week when the Livingstone children were shot in their beds by their father, who then turned the gun on himself.

Planning - important or not?

A discussion on Linked In caught my eye over the Christmas break. It was led by a consultant who asked the question which, when roughly paraphrased went like this, ‘why do small business owners have an aversion to planning?’

I offered a series of thoughts on this subject, as I was trying to think through how I would write a business plan given all the changes that happened last year. With that in mind, I recalled all the plans I had written in the first three years of developing The Story Mint. Not one of them came to pass and I wondered why that was.

My last blog for 2013

In the ten days leading up to Christmas, my words went on holiday. I could see them sunning themselves in deck chairs on a Fiji Island, coral reef turning the water a glorious azure with white washing waves crashing at its rim.

No, I wasn’t there but my imagination had followed. I was left behind, hollowed out and hoping they had not forsaken me forever. However, as you will see below I made the most of their absence.

And as you can see, I need not have worried. They came back about two days ago. Just in time for me to write a final summary of an incredible year.

Bend with the Wind

Bend with the Wind, a novel I wrote while doing my Master of Creative Writing in 2009, comes out soon thanks to the generous support of a colleague. I am truly grateful for this, as I have no idea when I could have paid for it to be published. It has been a long journey

I went back to University in 2008 with my heart in my throat. I last studied four years earlier and what I was about to start was a step higher than anything I had done before.

A Venture to India (5)

The following night, we go to a market and I am amazed by all the crafts on display. There are the most beautiful Pashma scarves from Kashmir. I have never touched cloth so soft in my life and the intricate designs cover every colour imaginable from soft pinks to bright blues. Many of the designs mirrored other designs and the choice is overwhelming. A group of masked dancers begin an erotic dance to the beat of drums. Their bright red and yellow costumes flow about their bodies as they sway and gesture to an audience member who looks like he might join them.


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