Business Profile: Neil Burton of Mash Marketing Australia

This is a profile I have been waiting to write for quite some time. Neil Burton is the owner of Mash Marketing Australia, a great mentor to me and a dear friend.

Neil and I met in 2010 when I joined the Mash Marketing staffing agency in its very early days. We had a wonderful talk in our first interview and talked in great depths about marketing, promotions and business. Ever since, Neil has been a mentor to me and also provided me with so many great opportunities with work.

Neil is the co-founder of Mash Marketing Australia, one of Australia’s best promotional agencies (in my books at the very least but according to many staff and clients, the best overall!)

This profile can by no means do Neil justice for the wonderful man he is, kind friend and excellent businessman. However, it certainly gives a great insight into why he loves doing what he does in running the great agency that is Mash. 

Mash Marketing Australia
Mash Marketing Australia
  1. Name:  Neil Burton
  1. Occupation/ business:  Mash Australia – Promotional Staffing
  1. Position:  Co-Founder
  1. Country of Residence:  Australia
  1. Contact details

​mash australia

306, 50 Holt Street

Surry Hills




t : 02 8197 9165


  1. Twitter handle/ Facebook/ Linkedin/ YouTube page 

FACEBOOK: facebook/mashaustralia

TWITTER: @mashaustralia

Neil Burton
Neil Burton

7. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do? 
We are the experts in delivering consumer experiences in the live environment.  We specialise in the provision of Brand Ambassadors to the experiential industry.  We are incredibly passionate about what we do and as a result we get to work with some of the best clients, people and brands in some of the most fun locations and events around Australia.

 8. Why did you start your business? 
A few reasons.  Firstly, the opportunity to work with 2 great friends in opening the Australian offices.  Secondly, to kick start my learning and development curve.  And thirdly, to push myself harder than I ever have before.

9. What’s your passion? 
People.  You learn so much from the people around you and you learn so much about yourself in how you present yourself and how people perceive you.  And everyone is different so each and every conversation and connection is unique.

  1. What do you love most about running your business? 
    The people that I get to work with.  I am constantly blown away by their energy, their vision and their work ethic.  And they’re a constant source of humour.
Director of Lovelly Communications, Emma Lovell is inside the bunny suit- striking the promo pose. A great Mash Promotion
Director of Lovelly Communications, Emma Lovell is inside the bunny suit- striking the promo pose. A great Mash Promotion
  1. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?
    1. Cash Flow
    2. Time management
    3. Self Belief
  1. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
    1. Just do it, once you start everything will work itself out
    2. Be humble, you can learn from everyone around you
    3. Be flexible, your proposition will evolve constantly at the start so be prepared to go with the flow!
  1. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life? 
    I feel much more in control of my future and my finances.  I think people assume that if you run your own business then you will be a millionaire, which in most cases is incorrect.  But my understanding now of tax management strategies and accounting processes has greatly improved my opportunity to spend what money I do have wisely
  1. How do you manage a work/life balance? 
    Not very well, running your own business is draining as you put everything you have into it.  Thankfully I have a wife who keeps me honest and who tells me when I need to focus on home a bit more
Neil and his beautiful baby boy
Neil and his beautiful baby boy
  1. What movie most inspires you in running your business? 
    Moneyball.  It reminded me how important it is to have a point of difference, to be unwavering in my vision and how to value the assets within my business.
  1. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business? 
    For me, nothing to do with business or running a business!!  Something that works other parts of my brain.
  1. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote? Anyone can make a mill, all you need is a skill, then it’s grind time
  1. The 4 words that best describe your business? 
    People, Experts, Engagement, Opportunity
James, Mash Promo Staff extroadinair doing his thing at a great event!
James, Mash Promo Staff extroadinair doing his thing at a great event!

Written by Emma Lovell, Lovelly Communications Director.


Camping in Style: Book Profile

Recently I met the lovely Angela Armstrong, Author of Camping in Style, at  the Melbourne Writers Club at the Honey Bar in South Melbourne. These are often inspiring evenings where I get to connect with other writers. Angela has written this wonderful book with her husband Stephen to bridge the gap between first time campers who like a little style with those hardcore outdoors types. It’s a fun and interesting guide to camping.

front cover


Camping in Style: A complete guide to comfortable camping.


Camping in Style delivers everything you need to travel, shelter, furnish, cook, sleep and live in style when accommodating outdoors. Discover four styles – Starting Out, Continental Breakfast, Outdoor Kitchen and Totally Wild – for fun and easy camping holidays no matter what your level of experience.




Authors Angela Armstrong and Stephen Rado present camping in a way never been seen before.  Stephen, king of the outdoor castle, six-time Antarctic expeditioner, UN contractor and lifetime camper delivers the technical content while Angela, city girl and queen bee of creature comforts shows how camping can be enjoyed by even the most discerning travellers.

_DSC0859 - Version 5


Find out more here:







Press Release here:

Camping InStyle Media Release



Written by Lovelly Communications Director, Emma Lovell

Business Profile: Kate James of Total Balance

Meeting the lovely Kate James and getting to know more about this incredible business has been a pleasure. Wellness, peace, calm and a business – what a beautiful life.
Kate coaches people in bringing balance and perspective into this often hectic world we live in. Through retreats and sessions, Total Balance helps people to be happy and enjoy their lives every day.
This has come at the perfect time and I can’t wait to share with you many more things from Kate and the Total Balance Group.
  1. Name; Kate James


  1. Occupation/ business: Total Balance


  1. Position: Coach, meditation teacher and writer


  1. Country of Residence; Australia


  1. email/contact/ website;


  1. Twitter handle/ Facebook/ Vimeo

Twitter: @katejamesau




  1. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do?

I work with people who want to live more creative, meaningful lives.


  1. Why did you start your business?


I started the business because (as clichéd as it sounds) I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. My own career had taken a back seat for 12 years while I was parenting our girls, but as they got older, I knew I was ready to work in an area that I was passionate about. I wanted to do something that would actually have some sort of impact on the world. I’d been working part-time with film-makers and architects so I set up my business initially to help creative people become more business minded. As time went on, I attracted more people from the corporate world who were disillusioned with their careers. Nearly everyone I worked with was experiencing some level of stress, so I suggested they learn to meditate (something I had been doing for over ten years) and eventually started teaching meditation myself. These days my business is a blend of coaching (for anyone going through transition), meditation workshops and retreats and some online programs so that people can access help in their own time.


  1. What’s your passion?

I’m passionate about mindfulness and creativity and thankfully, they work really well together. I love the idea of helping people to become more present, more mindful and more creative in their lives. These things help with everything. Your relationships improve, you feel more connected to the things that matter and you learn to worry less about the things that really don’t matter.


  1. What do you love most about running your business?

I love the freedom more than anything. This morning I started work at 7am and it’s a beautiful day so after I’ve finished this, I’ll take an hour off and walk along the beach. I completely love the people I work with too – I have built the most incredible relationships with my clients and I learn a lot from them.


  1. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?


    1. Cashflow is an ongoing challenge for most small business owners. I’ve learned to be less attached to money – it’s amazing how much less it matters when you love what you do. These days I just tighten my belt during the tough times and know that they will pass (and they always do!)
    2. Pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I’ve never been someone who was naturally good at selling myself so this, for me, has been a great challenge. As has public speaking. I’ve grown so much in the 11 years since I started the business. There are things that I’m doing these days that I would have never believed possible (like speaking to large groups of people). I have actually learned to love this even though it completely terrified me in the early days.
    3. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I have a tendency to fret over small things. I can’t stand it when there’s an issue with the website for example! I’m trying to be more relaxed about these things these days. In the scheme of things, as long as they’re resolved in time, they’re not worth getting stressed about.


  1. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
    1. Do what you love (can I say that for all three?). Honestly though, there’s no point going into business if you don’t totally love what you’re doing because you’re going to have to work hard at it.
    2. Have realistic expectations. So many creative entrepreneurs think that if they are talented and do something well and hang out their shingle, the sales will just roll in. Occasionally that happens but for most of us, we need to put in the hard yards when it comes to marketing. It’s important to persist.
    3. Learn how to network authentically. Networking was a word that brought up negative connotations for me until I learned about how to go about it the right way. Great networking is just about building relationships and if you do that from a place of genuinely being interested in other people it ends up being great for everyone.


  1. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?

I run retreats in Bali and Byron Bay each year. Last year in Byron, on the day that we spoke about bringing joy into your life, one of the women in the group broke down and started to cry. I could see that she was genuinely distressed and I really felt for her. Later, I took lunch up to her room. She said to me, ‘Kate, there is no joy in my life at all.’ Which was incredibly sad. She was wonderful though, she came back that evening and participated in every exercise over the next four days. On the final day, as we were about to leave she came into the hall and asked if I could spare a couple of minutes. ‘You’ve changed my life,’ she told me. ‘I’ve discovered that I do have joy within me. Thank you so much for what you have done.’ This time both of us had a few tears. I’m not sure I can really take the credit for the change she experienced (most of that was about her) but I feel incredibly blessed to be part of an experience like that. It was humbling and touching and it made me realise how lucky I am to be doing the work that I do. It was a moment I’ll never forget.


  1. How do you manage a work/life balance?

Like most people, I don’t have this worked out perfectly but I have a few ‘not negotiables’ that I stick to. I meditate every morning before doing anything else and I credit this as being the one thing that really keeps me focused (and sane). I try to exercise most days, even if it’s just a half hour walk along the beach. I make sure I catch up with a girlfriend at least once a week and I make Saturday nights and Sunday mornings time for just my husband and I. We spend plenty of time together during the week too but this is much more quality time. And I see our daughters at least a couple of times each week for a walk, coffee or dinner. I don’t get to everything but I feel as though I have the basics covered – and I should add, I reach out for help in the areas that are not my natural strengths. I have two part-time VA’s, a bookkeeper, an editor and these days I even have a cleaner once a fortnight which is a massive luxury!


  1. What movie most inspires you in running your business?

Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson. Wes’ films are completely quirky, original and unique. You can tell that he’s someone who has a clear vision about what he’s trying to create and he’s obviously totally passionate about his work. Moonrise Kingdom is a gorgeous little story – it’s my favourite of his films.


  1. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business?

I love Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions. Danielle is a role model and someone who believes (as I do) that you absolutely must follow your heart in life and in the work that you do.


  1. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?

The quote we have on the home page of our website by Mary Oliver – ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’


  1. The 4 words that best describe your business

Creative, mindful, authentic, calm.


Business Profile: Deb Carr of Voxy Lady

A fabulous lady, an inspirational business woman and a dynamo on social media. I’m speaking about the owner of not 1, but 2 businesses – Deb Carr!

Twitter works! I met Deb through Twitter and we have grown our relationship through Facebook and through our WordPress blogs. Social media connections are true and can be very valuable. I look forward to working with Deb in the future.


Follow her blog – she has many wonderful things to say. Book her speakers – she has a great eye for talent. And if you get the chance, have a chat with her because she is lovely.


Introducing – Deb Carr!



voxy lady

  1. Name; Deb Carr


  1. Occupation/ business: Director of 2 Professional Speaker Bureaus’ Voxy Lady Women’s Speaker Bureau and Vox Presenters


  1. Position: Director


  1. Country of Residence: Australia


  1. email/contact/ website:


  1. Twitter handle/ Facebook.


Vox Presenters –

Voxy Lady –


  1. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do?
    We are in the business of motivating and inspiring. How we do that is by providing keynote speakers for conferences, events, corporate training, online training, podcasts as well as help speakers gain exposure for their own speaking career.


  1. Why did you start your business?
    I was working as an Office Manager for the Federal Government in 2004 and my then partner, who was a professional speaker took me to Fiji. His clients paid him thousands of dollars to speak two times at their conference, 5 days in a 5 star resort, business class airfares and he could bring his partner. On the last day when we were sunning on one of the islands I said to him “So this is work for you isn’t it?” His reply was “yes” so I asked him “ How do I get to do this?”.  He advised me to either start a bureau or become a speaker. I went back to Australia and started my bureau, working long hours after my full time job.  Not bad for a girl who doesn’t even have a school certificate!


  1. What’s your passion?
    Inspiring people, writing, speaking.


  1. What do you love most about running your business?
    The amazing people I have met. I have been mentored by the best.

 Stevies 2

  1. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?


1-  Gaining clients in a competitive market

2 – Cashflow

3 –  Time


  1. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?

1 – Do your homework, make sure there is a demand

2 – Be prepared to live your business (passion)

3 – Have nerves of steel, there can be some pretty huge waves to ride


  1. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?
    I left school when I just turned 16, without even a School Certificate and I grew up thinking I would never be in a management position and I would remain as an office support person for my whole career. Nothing wrong with that of course but I had a hidden drive, I knew there was so much more to me, that I had a specific purpose in life.

To have been through what I have in getting these two brands up and running, with still a long way to go, I look back with such pride with what I have achieved.  I now mix with people at all levels in business. I can relate to the person collecting the mail right up to a Senior Board member – I’m that confident now.  Also being exposed to radio and podcasting has given me huge confidence. Once upon a time I would never have believed I could be so confident on air or to be able to speak in public.


  1. How do you manage a work/life balance?
    I’m not that good at that, I live my business as I am so driven to make it a global brand. I think because I love what I do, I don’t consider it work.  I do meditate twice a day, thanks to my meditation teacher, Tom Cronin who has brought me great peace, I practice yoga twice a day and I usually walk for up to 1.5 hours.

Debcarr web

  1. What movie most inspires you in running your business?
    To be honest, I can’t think of any, I rarely go to movies and never watch TV.


  1. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business?  Simon Reynolds, “Why People Fail”.


  1. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?
    Never, Ever Give Up.


  1. The 4 words that best describe your business?  Dynamic, Innovative, Inspiring and FUN

Business Profile- Lesley Carter of Bucket List Publications

Lesley Carter is a woman after my own heart! Running a business and Travelling the world. She’s actually doing what is on the Mission Statement of this very blog… “Travelling the world and writing all about it.”

This has to be one of the most inspiring, and, close to my heart interviews I’ve done in a long while. I very much look up to Lesley of Bucket List Publications as she is LIVING THE DREAM. She’s writing this incredible blog which is inspiring 1000′s of people to travel, she’s balancing work/life/family/passions and she’s having some of the most incredible adventures.

I will let this lovely lady speak for herself, but if you do one thing today – sign up to

  1. Name; Lesley Carter
  1. Occupation/ business: Bucket List Publications Online Magazine and Blog
  1. Position: Owner/Editor/Writer
  1. Country of Residence: USA
  1. email/contact/ website

  1. Twitter handle/ Facebook/ Linkedin/ YouTube page

Lesley Carter-

Lesley Carter-

  1. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do?

Following my dreams of traveling and experiencing life to the fullest, I created Bucket List Publications, a blog and online magazine that explores the endless possibilities of the world through stories of travel, adventure, and new experiences.

  1. Why did you start your business?

Bucket List Publications began 18 months ago.

  1. What’s your passion?

Experiencing new countries, cultures, and adventures and living every day like it’s my last is what my life is all about.

  1. What do you love most about running your business?

I’m able to have a family, raise my beautiful daughter, spend time with my husband, and explore the world all at my own leisure. It doesn’t get any better than that!

  1. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?
  1. Maintaining financial stability
  2. Staying on top of social media and marketing (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook… the list goes on)
  3. Keeping up the community that I’ve build in the blogging world (With hundreds of comments daily, it can be difficult to respond and create a relationship with everyone)

Lesley Carter-

Lesley Carter-

  1. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
    1. The more unrealistic you are with your dreams and goals, the more you are able to achieve.
    2. Creating lasting relationships/partnerships is key (Not only with others in your industry but with clients as well)
    3. Social media is the difference between small business and big business. Know your market and get your ideas out there.
  1. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?

Bucket List Publications has given me the ability to fly! Whether it be through travel, exploration, soaring to new business heights, adventure flight such as skydiving, piloting a helicopter, jet pack, or airplane, or base jumping, I’ve been given wings! I can now see the world from a bird’s eye view and it is beautiful.

  1. How do you manage a work/life balance?

I follow a schedule as if I was actually going to work daily. There is scheduled time for play, work, travel, adventure, and leisure. I leave wiggle room but focus on what’s important. With a travel/adventure blog, work and pleasure are already intertwined.

  1. What movie most inspires you in running your business?

The Bucket List (obviously)

  1. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business?

I really feel like this one depends on the business, but Business Model You by Time Clark is an inspirational starting point.

  1. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  1. The 4 words that best describe your business?

Dream Live Create Share

Business Profile – James Freemantle of REDgum Communications

Introducing the incredible James Freemantle of REDgum Communications. I thought I knew a thing or two about presentation, communication and presence – until I met James. James has a true gift in his ability to convey meaning, personality and passion into all that he does.

James has many years of presenting and teaching experience which led him to start REDgum Communications. They run training and workshops in media, presentation and personal branding. You will learn so much in a very short time from this talented group of people.


  1. Name; James Freemantle

2.Occupation/ business: REDgum Communications

3. Position: Director

4. Country of Residence; Orshtrayya (Australia)

5. email/contact/ website ),

6, Twitter: @redgumcom


7. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do?

  1. We help people become aware of how they are experienced by others, how they’d like to be, and how to create that presence. Redgum Communications trains and coaches people in personal brand, media and presenting/public speaking. We help people to build rapport and create presence to consistently, effectively create influence.

8.Why did you start your business? After ten years working as a TV presenter, newsreader and producer, I realized I’d learnt so much about how to mould and create personal brand presence, and was so passionate about helping others, that it was the most logical and rewarding step. I’ll always enjoy being in front of the camera, but I get a greater buzz from seeing other people achieve what they doubted they could as a result of working with our active REDgum methodology.

9.What’s your passion? People. Helping people grow and take action!

10. What do you love most about running your business?

I most love the little victories – when a client ‘clicks’; suddenly gains confidence, sends me a message like this one I received this week: I learnt so much from the experience and you provided a safe space for me to extend myself beyond what I had previously thought possible. And I love it when people say ‘Redgum Communications has been recommended to me’.

11. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?

  1. Managing my time so that I can read – it’s a great way to keep fresh.
  2. Keeping up-to-date with the deadlines that our amazingly organized Project Manager, Bec sets for me!
  3. Adapting to the role of business owner, as opposed to freelancer. This means understanding P&L statements, invoicing, overheads etc, which for me was like learning a new language. Now that I’m bilingual, I love it!

12. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?

    1. Work out what the problem is that you’re solving for your client.
    2. Make sure your product solves that problem effectively, measurably and in a way that has clients talking about you as a problem-solver. Know what it is that you’re selling, how to apply it and how it’s different.
    3. Create a positive experience for everyone with whom you interact. Think of everyone as a client of your brand.

13. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?

We were asked by a large organisation to work with their marketing team who had to make a major (8-hour) presentation to industry stakeholders each year to secure approval for their $25 million suite of projects for the subsequent 12 months. They were very clear on the projects and had great ideas, but the presentation had been so disastrous in the previous year that for six months the budget was frozen as they scrambled for approval. The cost to the organisation was enormous.

We delivered four days of workshops, development programs and one-on-one coaching prior to the following year’s presentation. Full approval for the $25 million budget was given on the spot.

This was early in the life of Redgum Communications and it reinforced my belief that what we do is powerful, measurable and useful to people and organisations.

14. How do you manage a work/life balance?

This is high on my to-do list!! Actually I’m pretty good at allocating time to physical activities and family, and am trying to get a hobby or two happening as well.

15. What movie most inspires you in running your business?

A Redgum Communications documentary called ‘Wise Philanthropy in a Developing World’ that we made last year for the Entrust Foundation. It reminds me that there needs to be meaning, and that we are incredibly lucky!

16. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business?

I’m a big fan of Blink by Malcolm Gladwell for easy-to-read insights into interpersonal communications and influence, but from a business perspective I think Derek Sivers’ Anything You Want is packed with great lessons for new business, and again is very easy to read.

17. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?

Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else. Wise advice from Judy Garland

18. The 4 words that best describe your business?

strong. positive. clear exciting!


Interesting extra note from the ever interesting, James Freemantle:

The process of finding the right name, symbol and qualities to represent me and my business took quite some time. It had incarnations – Hensteeth Productions was an early one that was quirky but wrong! After hundreds of names scribbled on sheets of paper everywhere, the image of the Redgum came along and felt immediately right. Whereas before I’d been associated with particular TV shows that didn’t necessarily resonate with my soul, this brand did, and has continued to do so ever since. My own integrity and meaning is inextricably linked to that of my business. It means I am completely accountable, and our clients understand all for which we stand.

Business Profile: Rebecca Field, Mode Talent Management

Introducing the wonderful Rebecca Field of Mode Talent Management.

Rebecca is a darling friend of mine who has in the last year set up this successful talent and modelling agency. She set her mind to it and got organised and set up her business within a matter of months. I’ve never seen someone with such drive and such determination and passion for what she is doing. I love working with her and watching this business grow.

Learn more about Rebecca and her business story.

Rebecca Field

1. Name; 
Rebecca Field
2. Occupation/ business: 
Mode Talent Management – Modelling & Talent Agency
3. Position: 
4. Country of Residence; 
5. email/contact/ website ( If happy to be published on a website) 
6. Twitter handle/ Facebook/ Linkedin/ YouTube page 
7. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do? 
Mode Talent Management is a Melbourne based modelling agency focusing on advertisung, commercial, televsion & film work. Mode represents a diverse range of commercial & fashion models for photographic assignments including print, catalogue, magazine, advertisements and all other forms of media.   Mode Talent Management is a boutique agency representing professional, reliable & experienced models. Mode works alongside production houses, casting agencies, advertising agencies & photographers. Mode also provides actors, dancers, hosts & singers to a wide range of clients within the advertising, fashion, film & event management industry.
8. Why did you start your business? 
It all started out of pure passion and a love for what I had grown up doing within the industry as a model, dancer & actress.
Starting dancing at the age of 3, I was exposed to the industry at an early age and fell into modelling in my late teens. I grew up with a good understanding of client and industry expectations. I also worked in events and promotions where I was given leadership roles. I extended my talents into acting training & gaining some lead TVC and feature roles whilst in my very intense 5 year Bachelor of Health Science – Naturopathy university degree. Although studying full time, I was also part of a successful dance team and I never cut down on my acting or modelling work. I was very dedicated to my degree yet it only seemed natural to me that I could do everything I wanted all at the one time. I learnt about sacrifice & this approach to life in general taught me to be extremely festidious in my organization of my weekly schedule.
Once I had completed my degree, I gained full time employment immediately within my field at a fabulous company with a great wage. Although I felt something was missing, I put it down to just starting a new job. However, within the first few days on the job I was offered two photoshoots and as asked to help assist managing a 2 month experiential campaign. I started to realise that I didn’t have the ability to self manage myself and my time as I had in the past. I started to question what really was my passion & what my career path was. I found myself thinking about the work I was missing out on rather than the work I was doing, but it was also through this time I started to truly consider my ideas I had in the past of starting something of my own. I had toyed with the idea of starting a management company of a whole array of talent from industries I was familiar with & it hit me like a ton of bricks. The decision was already made within my heart. I gave notice, finished my job in 2 weeks & officially started Mode Talent Management 3 weeks later.
I knew that starting my own modelling and talent company would be far from easy, that it would take a lot of time & further sacrifices. But this is the lifestyle I was familiar with & it was a choice. Following my passion only gave me more determination to succeed in every sense of the word. I wake up every day excited to put my time and energy into something that produces positive feelings back.
9. What’s your passion? 
I am passionate about embracing creativity, being independent & achieving goals. This stems into all facets of my life.
10. What do you love most about running your business? 
I love that I am able to run a business that is reflective of my values. I manage a whole bunch of creative individuals who love the industry and what they do just as much as me. I love that I am able to seek out fun and enjoyable jobs for them to work on & reward them for being fabulous at what they do. I also enjoy building great client relationships and being able to provide them with not only the fabulous talent but a prompt service. I guess ultimately if you look at it very simply, I like to produce a result & make people happy!

Mode Talent Management has exceptional talent

11. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?
a. Time management. I can be a complete workaholic.
b. Taking time off
c. Travelling interstate
12. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business? 
1. Do not put the word ‘success’ in the same sentence as the word ‘money’. I see it too often & the pressure this produces. I don’t hold money as an object of success & consider anyone successful for following a passion.
2. Create a rough business plan prior to starting anything
3. Surround yourself with positive inspirational people whom you can also inspire & collaborate with
13. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?  
Now that I run my own business, I can take my lunch break whenever I like!
14. How do you manage a work/life balance? 
Admittedly I am a workaholic, so I do need to work on creating a routine. But everything I do is by choice and the work I put into Mode does not often feel like ‘work’.
15. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business?   
Flying Solo: How to go it alone in business
16. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?  
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go” – Thomas Stearns Elliot (Poet & Nobel Prize Winner)
17. The 4 words that best describe your business? 
Efficient, professional, personable & fun

Gorgeous girls from Mode Talent Management

Business Profile: Matt Brine and The Fundraising People

Charity, giving, kindness and fun – these are all encompassed in The Fundraising People and their incredible leader Matt Brine.
I had the pleasure of meeting Matt as we trekked to Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Rooftop of Africa. Matt was my inspiring guide who gave us not only great encouragement and support, but also wise advice and great conversations.
I learnt so much from Matt about Charity and Fundraising as he has helped many charities raise millions for such worthy causes. Learn why Matt and his lovely wife Rachel started this great business and what drives them to keep raising the bar for Charity.
  1. Name; Matthew Brine
  2. Occupation/ business: The Fundraising People, making profits for non-profits
  3. Position: Director
  4. Country of Residence; Australia
  5. email/contact/ website :, 0425244444, 
  6. Twitter handle/ Facebook/ Linkedin/ YouTube page; @Fund_Raisers Facebook: the fundraising people. 

The Fundraising People

  1. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do?

We raise money for non profits by inspiring members of the public on the street and in shopping centres to think about some other than themselves and give a regular donation, via their bank account or credit card, to a cause that makes a difference to people all over the World.

8. When did you start your business? November 2008

9. What’s your passion? Raising $ for charity, my family, making a difference ensuring a leave a positive legacy

10. What do you love most about running your business? My awesome team of inspired leaders.

The Fundraising People

11.What are three difficulties you face in running your business?

  1. Public apathy
  2. Making profit whilst working with non-profits
  3. Hitting our ambitious targets12. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?

    1. Get a good accountant and ensure you have a handle on the $
    2. Ensure you have staff that are disciplined and passionate
    3.  Find out what you are best at and stick to it

    13. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?

Everyday I wake up knowing my work saves lives. I work with an awesome bunch of people who are all committed to changing the world for the better by saving lives and making a difference.

14. How do you manage a work/life balance? It is tricky as my wife is a fellow Director. I ensure that I take time off to spend with the kids, I especially enjoy the spontaneous decisions to go to the beach or the movies… The kids love the excitement!


15. What movie most inspires you in running your business? Gandhi springs to mind. His total commitment to his passion in a non violent way is truly inspirational and something we talk about with our fundraisers a lot.

16. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business? the E-Myth is an absolute must. I read it before starting my business and it made a huge difference in the set up phase.

17.  Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change 
Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ― Margaret Mead


18. The 4 words that best describe your business? Inspired, Leadership, Passionate, Community

Shannah Kennedy: Simplify, Structure, Succeed

I’ve introduced a new section to my blog called Business Profiles. In this category I would like to highlight the businesses I love and the people who inspire me.

Shannah Kennedy and I met recently at the Melbourne Writers Group where Shannah was the guest speaker. She has recently published her first book “simplify, structure, succeed” and it was inspirational to hear her talk about the process. I’ve got 4 books in my mind and with Shannah as an example pathing the way, I may actually get them out there one day.

Shannah has a lot to say about life, business, and the world and she shares this through her life coaching business and now her book. Read about how she runs her business and what’s important to make it successful.

  1. Name: Shannah Kennedy
  1. Occupation/ business: Professional Life Strategist
  1. Position: Owner
  1. Country of Residence;  Australia
  1. Email:,


6. Twitter:



  1. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do?

I consult to business’ and people on their personal and professional strategies.  The outcome is living life optimally both personally and professionally

  1. When did you start your business?


  1. What’s your passion?

My job, I love it!  I love structure that has purpose that leads to results. I am passionate about people not wasting life, passionate about my health both physical and mental, about my family (married with 2 kids), about my business and my future.

  1. What do you love most about running your business?

Flexibility, control, profitability and choice.

  1. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?
  1. Becoming insular is very easy to do, when you work at home for yourself you need to set yourself goals to get out and keep getting out of your comfort zone or you don’t grow.
  1. Self motivating the whole time, to do all parts of the business – there is no team around you to have the ‘water cooler’ talk.
  2. No accountability – so you have to be honest with yourself. I employ a coach so I am accountable and just have to be 100% authentic. I believe as a coach you need to be 100% authentic and doing it yourself before you can assist others.
  1. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
    1. Clarity clarity clarity – why are you doing what you do, what is the real purpose.
    2. Foundation and systems and structures to make it easy for yourself, you need to really invest in the setting it up like a real business not a hobby.
    3. You need a champion/coach/mentor to call upon. You need support, doing it alone is a long touch road and not much fun!
  1. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?

My business definitely changed my life. I never dreamed it would be this big, go this well and take me to where it has, but I believed totally in what I was doing and where I was going. I always focus on what is critical in the business and feel the rest will follow.  The business has made me grow, challenge myself as the buck stops with me and no one else! There is more responsibility, which makes me feel like I am really living!

  1. How do you manage a work/life balance?

I love to challenge this all the time. Work life balance I think is partly time, and partly a state of mind. We can be busy, but if we understand the purpose, the clarity and the vision and have a good structure, we should be able to breathe through it all. Busy does not equal stress.  I book in my diary time to work on my diary – sounds strange but I do. I spend at least an hour preparing the next 4-6 weeks – thinking through the days and preparing myself to be organised enough that there is minimal stress. I book in some fun, exercise, time for finances, friends and family. I book in the date night with my husband and some kids activities, I book in the massage and all I need for the next 6 weeks…..once I am covered then where is the stress – then it is down to state of mind…..  work life balance is about knowing what you need to feel good and in control and making it happen and that is entirely our responsibility. We can get curve balls thrown at us, but ultimately we choose how to handle it all.

  1. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business?

The E Myth by Michael Gerber

  1. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?

“It is not so much what you get from achieving your goals, but who you become in the process.”

  1. The 4 words that best describe your business?

Inspiring, structured for results, a process for optimal living, clarity about you.

Shannah’s wonderful book


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