Play Big, Brand Bold is your guide to building a stand-out brand, getting out of your own way and understanding how to hire yourself as the CEO in your business. If you’re ready to stop playing small, step up and start doing bigger things then you’ve come to the right place. After building a successful business and brand – post a few false starts – Suzanne shares stories and insights from her journey in life and business as well as some key lessons she’s learnt along the way. As a business, branding and speaker coach, Suzanne has worked with hundreds of women in business through to corporate CEOs to support them to play bigger and brand bolder.
Best Book Bits podcast. It brings you Suzanne Chadwick, the c e o, and founder of the Connection Exchange, a business brand and speaker coach. She works with savvy business women in business, as well as training individuals in small to medium enterprises and corporate businesses. A regular conference speaker on building a standout business and personal brand.
She’s also the author of the book Play Big Brand, bold. It’s your time to step up, show up and stand out. Suzanne, thanks for being on the. My pleasure, Michael. I’m excited to be here. No worries. And we’re gonna dig, dive into your book. It’s such an amazing book I read recently, but take us back. 22, you were working in the IT recruitment in Melbourne and got that tap on your shoulder from the boss to say, would you like to go to London?
And you said, yes. Yes. What happened then, and how did your journey unfold from there? Yeah, for sure. Who at 22 doesn’t want a free ticket to London? So I was pretty excited about that. I knew nobody in London at all, but I just thought opportunity has knocked and I’m gonna say yes. And so I [00:01:00] got on a plane.
I went via the US for a bit. My old flatmate used to live in New York, so I stopped over there and then headed over to London. And this was in 2021. And I was doing it recruitment for a global recruitment firm. And their office was on the stand for anybody that knows London. So I was right in the hub of it all, and it was fantastic.
But what happened then is that obviously 20 21 9 11 happened, 2001. Oh, 2001. Geez. Yeah. . That’s okay. Yeah. So 2001, that’s when I landed at the beginning of that year. And then obviously in that November nine 11 happened and the market fell out and so I ended up getting a redundancy from that job because I was in the telco and IT market and everything just went a bit dead for quite a while.
Which was actually not a bad thing. I loved London, but I didn’t love my job at [00:02:00] the time and so I came back to Australia for a bit. I was very silly and spent my redundancy money, had a great time, but then decided to go back to London cuz I just wasn’t done with it. And I was in London over an eight year period.
I was always like, no, I’ll go home next year. I’m just here for a year. I’ll go home next year. Anyway, I ended up getting sponsored by another recruitment company and ended up heading up recruitment for Deloitte Consulting. near the end of that period and absolutely loved it. It was just one of the best jobs and it was really interesting.
And during my time heading up recruitment for the consulting division, we had this really big project where we had to hire a hundred consultants in a short period of time, so that those are people from consultants through to director level, which is just below partner. And in order to do that, they brought a brand agency.
And that brand agency, we worked together really closely to take a look [00:03:00] at how we were going to attract all of these consultants, basically from competitors. And so with that brand strategy, we were looking at brand activations. So things like, big billboards in the major train stations, all of the newspapers, live events being at, Career affairs and looking at a lot of the messaging and how we were gonna build something that really captivated and attracted the really high quality.
<AFFIRMATIVE> consultants and candidates that we want. And that was my first venture into branding. And I can say, Michael, I was bitten by the bug. So I was just like, what is this amazingness that is this world of branding and marketing? And I just really loved it. It really energized me. And that was the first time I thought, I think maybe it’s time for me to start having to think about like where I want my career to.
Always a case that your next career is. [00:04:00] On the other side of something, like they say. had a conversation with someone yesterday and they said, we have about four or five major career changes in our life where decades ago you probably had one job for their whole life. But we go through these transitions of having a job and then all of a sudden we opened up our new markets as well.
Just a quick caveat. I lived in London as well. So we packed up everything, me and my wife and we sold up many years ago, about a decade ago, and we lived over there in Wimbledon and we had a great time. And we did the same things that you did. Little flyovers to here, there in that Spain, Barcelona, IHA, Greece, all that stuff too.
So we do miss it. And , I got homesick and wanted to come home. My wife wanted to stay and I think we nearly got a divorce over that, but ended up, I won the decision and we ended up coming home. And yeah. So I can definitely relate to the London lifestyle that you had as well. I never did speed dating though, but I know you have.
So what’s your story with speed dating? I was just about to say when you was talking about your wife, yeah, it was basically such a rage, like it was all the rage in London at the time. This was [00:05:00] 2000, I wanna say it was, I think it was about 2007, maybe 2006, and, All of my girlfriends had gone and done speed dating in London.
I was really not interested. I was very career driven and I was married to my friends. So I had this incredible group of mates. We basically lived and worked together. And I was just not particularly interested in being in a relationship. And so one of my girlfriends said to me, Sue’s I really wanna go.
Will you come with me? So I was basically her wing. On that night, and and we went to the Grazing Road Pub in Halen Circus, and we went up to the second floor and there were 15 guys, 15 girls. And it was such a fun night. Like I actually really enjoyed it. I’m a talker, I’m an extrovert. So that kind of environment doesn’t really phase me.
But I met quite a lot of guys that I had really great conversations with. And that night I met my husband and yeah, we met, there was definitely something there. His friend at the [00:06:00] end of the event went to the bathroom and he came over and started chatting with my girlfriend and I, and we went downstairs and we sat and chatted for another couple of hours.
And during that time for me, I was. . I think that this is something big and just not being somebody who was looking, it was a really interesting dynamic cuz I was just like, I’m not looking but I’ve actually found the guy . So yeah. That’s amazing story. And I know he is not from Australia, but whose decision was to come back to Australia in 2000?
Yes. I was laughing when you were talking about your wife and you arguing about whether to stay or come back. I always knew I’d come back to Australia. I love London, but I feel like the weather was always a really big problem for me. I’m not a cold girl. Like I will always go somewhere warm and tropical over somewhere cold.
But I said to him on our second day, I said, listen, if you are not somebody who would ever leave the uk it’s probably best that we don’t continue dating. That’s. Sure I was [00:07:00] that I was gonna come home and we still laugh about it cuz he was like, yeah, no, that’s fine. I’ll move anywhere he’s Welsh.
But he says to me, now, I would’ve said, I would’ve said yes to anything at that stage. I didn’t even want to go to London. So my wife said I’m gonna go to London. Do you want come? I said, no, I’m cool. Thinking it’s a holiday. And she’s no. I’m going to London to. You can come or you don’t have to come.
And I was like, all right, gimme a sec. So I called my boss. We both resigned and we sold up everything and we went across there. And then funny thing was when we came back, we went back to our same jobs and back to our same friendship groups. Now I know that. You had such a long time when you came back and you were in your two bedroom unit and you realized that it wasn’t London anymore and everyone, all your friends have moved on.
And what was that experience like coming back? I know it was hard for you. Yeah, it was really, I feel like it was a real shock to the system because you’ve got this whole idea of what home is like and I love Melbourne. I think it’s fantastic. [00:08:00] Great friends here. And I think that once again, like when we came back, I don’t know, like the job market was a little bit hard as well.
And my husband is in research and development in like with pharmaceuticals and Melbourne is not like a hotspot for those types of jobs either. So I ended up doing some contracting work. He looked for a job for a while and eventually found something that was miles away. And we just didn’t have that circle around us.
And I think I had built such incredible friendships in London where every weekend there was something social happening and we were always like, what are you doing? Come over. And so you were just never lonely. And when we got back to Melbourne, being in the suburbs as well. and just, I don’t know, like the work environment was just very different.
Like the people we were working with. People wouldn’t really stay in the city and have drinks on a Friday night. Everybody would be heading home to their families and things like that, and [00:09:00] so we just didn’t have that social interaction and it took us a really long time. to adjust, to be honest, no. I can totally relate.
It’s such a different lifestyle over there. You could walk to two different train stations on two different lines and catch it, like there was, you were just a couple minutes away from activity and, being in the suburbs as well myself it’s quite a quiet place. And the suburbs for a reason.
Fast forward from 2008 to 2014, you created what they call the connection exchange. But what happened in between that period of six years, between 2008 and 2014? Yeah, so basically I had two kids during that time as well. Yeah, thanks. But but I ended up back in recruitment and in 2010 I was sitting on like the 32nd floor of one of the highrise buildings in Melbourne and.
As a recruitment lead. So I had a team that I was working with, but still was feeling a bit like, I can do this. This is what I do, but do I want to [00:10:00] continue to do this? And about three days before I went on maternity leave, a social media and brand consultant came into a meeting that we were having and we were looking at once again doing a big recruitment drive, et cetera.
And she started talking about all the things that we had talked about back in London when we were doing. Consulting, recruitment drive, and I sat there thinking, oh, I remember this. And so I basically went off on maternity leave, had a baby. About four months later, I connected with her on LinkedIn and I said, Sam, I don’t know if you remember me.
We were in this meeting at this client like four or five months ago. I really wanna get into, Area of business. I will work for you free of charge, like a day, a week over my maternity leave if you teach me everything that you know. And she said yes. So basically on a Thursday while my baby slept, I would be on Skype [00:11:00] calls with her and her clients, looking at Twitter strategies and Facebook strategies, and how we were gonna build community and connection and conversion and all the rest of it.
And I just absorbed. And the minute I started doing that, I started looking online for like how to understand how to do this better. And then when I ended up being on maternity leave for ti kind of two stints, cuz I went back and I was already pregnant so I had to take more time off. And when I got back sort of two years later, really a year and a half, I said to my ceo, I think that we are missing an opportunity here.
Like I think that within the recruitment space, I think we could do employer branding, which is what I’d done in London with that agency, and I think it’s something that we could offer our clients. And She said, okay, go. Go and do it. So there was somebody else that had been doing it a little bit like a day here or a bit here and there.
And she, that person really wanted to [00:12:00] get back into people management and I wanted to get out. So just by voicing like what I really wanted and where I thought there was opportunity, they were like, all right, let’s do the job swap. So I swapped with her. She took over the management of my team. I took over employer branding, and that went full-time.
And we ended up building that into a global practice. Yeah. Wow. It’s an amazing story. And one of the notes I got from that as well, you said it’s about having that conversation with your higher ups, with the powers the powers to be, or the people in your organization as well. How important is that just to voice, new opportunities or how you actually feel in the role as well?
I had a personal experience where I left a good paying job, just wasn’t filming anymore. Unemploy not unemployed. I’ve got a few businesses, but I was like, no, I’m not doing this anymore. I’m done. And just had that honest conversation. They’re like, what are you gonna do? I’m open, it’s gonna take some time off a couple months, play some golf, semi retirement, spend some time with the kids, but I don’t know, I’ll find an opportunity.
And then yesterday, I found that opportunity after two months that came [00:13:00] through. But how important is it just to be honest with yourself first? And then also have those honest conversations of opportunities or gaps in the market that you find that, you tell your organization what’s going on.
Yeah. How important is that? Yeah, I mean I am, I’ve always been a big one to follow the breadcrumbs. Like I think that when you get, it’s almost like when I was back in London and I had that inkling, it was, how do I, like this is something that is new, that’s of interest, that’s sparking something inside of me.
And I never forgot that. And even though I didn’t take action on it at the time, it was still something that was there. And so when that, when I went on the maternity leave and came. I just think that people who you work for can’t read your mind. , they’re not mind readers. And I think sometimes people get, and I mean I used to be a people manager as well, so I get this where people are like, they don’t wanna voice their opinions cuz they’re worried that then their managers are gonna think that they’re not fully [00:14:00] committed to the job that they’re in.
There’s all these stories that we tell ourselves, if I’m honest, then I won’t be taken as seriously. Or if I’m honest, they’ll think I’m not committed and I’ll get fired. Or if I say what I really want, then what happens If they can’t help me, then I’m. Do I stay or do I go? So we play these things out in our head, , when I’m just like, just follow the breadcrumbs.
Just start having small conversations. And also if you see that there’s an opportunity for something to be better, then say it. Because I can tell you now as a pe, as an ex people manager, People who were like, we do it this way, but I actually think it could be done better and here’s how we could do it.
And then we take a look at that, whether we end up going with their idea or not. I’m now thinking this is a doer. This is somebody who’s open to innovating. This is somebody who’s looking at what else they can be doing that might be of interest to them, but they can also help us. And so I think. Also acknowledging that when we are honest [00:15:00] with our leaders and we say what we think could be good, and it’s all about the way that you do it as well, but also sharing with them what we would love to be doing more of.
They can’t have the opportunity to make that happen for you if they don’t know that’s what you want. So for me, I’ve always been pretty open. I’ve had really great leaders. I have to. But I’ve always been really open about what about if we did this? And a lot of times people have been like, okay, let’s give that a go and let’s see.
So I’m always one for testing, trying, being open about what you think. . Yeah, absolutely. And just analogy you said follow the breadcrumbs. I’m a big Matrix fan, so Follow the white rabbit is . I’m always constantly looking for the white rabbit, so always following that too. No really cool.
One of the things that you wrote in your book, which is definitely Think Like something I’ve got a problem with. It’s people that have project methodology, price, and packaging frameworks, messages, and more. They don’t know what it is. But in 2013, you said your girlfriend had a great corporate [00:16:00] job.
She had a baby, and decided that she didn’t wanna go back to work, not even realizing skills that she’s been developing and what you’ve learned over the years. She said, Sue, how do you put this together? The pricing and the packaging. How do you build the project methodology? How do you go to market with all these things?
What was. What was that event like? And I think the convergence of that really sparked something. So what happened there? Yeah, so obviously like I had just naturally done this and been in a conversation, like when I was building the employer brand agency, we had to go sit down because that wasn’t something that was already fully developed.
We’re like, okay, do we do training with our organizations? Are we doing consulting? What does that look like? If we are doing consulting, what does our consulting package? Involve, how much are we charging ourselves out at? And so we had to go through this whole process of figuring it out and so by me doing that, I learned a lot in the process of how to try and do that in a really simple way.
And I’m pretty. Fixated on [00:17:00] simple business, simple things that you do well, that are clear and clean, that you can rinse and repeat that help you to grow your business. That’s my, I’m just like, if it can’t be that, then there’s something wrong. So I, yeah, so I’d been doing it for, I don’t know, a couple of, maybe a couple of years and.
A girlfriend of mine who was in a pretty high level role, had her baby, as you said, and then she was like, I don’t really want to go back. And so I was just like what if you just did it on your own? What about if you created your own business? She was like, I don’t even know how I was do that. So literally over a dining table and some wine.
Notebooks and pens. I was like, okay, so what would the business be? It’ll be this. All right, what kind of services would you wanna offer? And we brainstormed that a bit. And I said, okay let’s talk about this service. What would you do for the client? How long would it take?
What would the scope be? Obviously, coming from a consulting background, I understood the whole, [00:18:00] chargeable like rates that you’d have out there, but also looking at. What do you need to earn? Like how much do you wanna earn? And then what do your products and services need to be charged at in order to do that?
And so we just went through that process. What’s the product? What’s the price? How many clients would you need? What’s the message? How are you gonna what’s the actual proposition and what’s the promise that you are delivering as well? And then how, what do you wanna be known? . So we went through those key things and just as we did it, she was, and I was just loving it.
Like I was like, and then you do this, and then you do that, and then what about this? And she was just like, you need to do this. This is you are really good at this. And I hadn’t really thought about it, like I knew it and I loved it, but I hadn’t thought about it. And so she basically started to refer me to some of her girlfriend.
And I was just doing it for free for a couple of people, and then I started [00:19:00] charging a bit, and then from there I was like, okay, what does this look like for me now? So I had to go through that process for myself. I’ve done the same, I’ve done the same thing. It’s the same story. I writing books for other people.
It’s oh, lemme show you how to structure it. Do this, do that then, and then, oh, start charging. You feel weird about it. And then you’re like, okay, what’s this look like for me now? And it’s. So natural, these knowledge or the intuition you have with certain business acumen, then you gotta realize, look yourself in the mirror and say, okay, now I’ve gotta commercialize it myself.
So it’s funny when you’re saying that all those things are happening to me. Cause I had the same conversations with, it’s not the similar conversations with people and what flows from you is like new information to other people and you’re like, this is just E just comes so natural and easy to you because of your own subject expertise and your own.
No, really cool. And it from there, what happened there with the connection exchange? How did that. Yeah, so I went and registered a business and I went with the connection exchange cuz I just thought for me, what I [00:20:00] really wanted to build was like I, my first thought, and the business has changed and evolved since then.
But my first thought was I used to go to a lot of networking events and I didn’t really like them. I’m like, these are not my people. I went to three, just assign it. I went to three this week or last week, and I know when I was reading your book yesterday, finishing your book, I’m like, I know exactly what you meant.
Great people just not your clients, but yeah, go ahead. I totally understand what you mean. Yeah. Yeah. And I loved, like here in Australia we’ve got business chicks, which I love. I think they’re great, but they just, I just didn’t, I wasn’t looking for the mass. Yeah. Which is what a lot of those events are.
And I, yeah. Would just go to different events and I’m like, this is not for me. And then I would sit and think what would I want? Like I wanna go somewhere where maybe there. 30, 40 people in a really like nice environment where there’s a couple of speakers that’s really practical. I’m a very practical person, so I love hearing about practical [00:21:00] things that people have done, where they’ve tested and tried different things, what they were thinking at the time, some of the things that they might have overcome.
And so I just thought if I can’t find it, then I’ll. And so my thought around the connection exchange is that when people come to the events, then they connect and they exchange knowledge, friendship, ideas networks. And so that’s where the name came from. And I just started doing like breakfasts, like women in business breakfasts.
Where exactly that. I’d have 30, 40 people in a cafe somewhere in Melbourne, in a private. And then I ended up doing a conference, and one of the things that I love to talk about is what I call brand jacking. So basically what that means is that if you don’t have a brand, but you know somebody who has a brand that has the people that you love and that you would like to attract, then the question is how do you connect the two?
So at the time, which was 20 14, 20 [00:22:00] 15, I just thought. I’m gonna do a conference. And if I could have, I was just in dream mode. If I could have anybody, who would I have? And I thought obviously at the time I’d have Lisa Messenger, who was the editor-in-chief of the Collective magazine, who had a huge female entrepreneur following who’s met, like whose ethos and.
Values and ideas I totally resonated with, which was all the thought leaders, the rebels, the change makers. I was like, oh, I love all of that. And so I just Googled her email address. Like I was like Lisa Messenger, email when it came up. I do that every day. ? Yeah. I’m just like, sometimes people are like, but how do you do these things?
I’m like, I just Google it. Like I just figure it out. Or on Facebook, they actually have the email address on Facebook. But anyway, go ahead. Yeah. . So I was like, okay, if I could have anybody, who would it be? Lisa Messenger. Okay. If I could have it anywhere, where would it be? It would be at Circa, which was at the Prince in St.
Kil in Melbourne, which is [00:23:00] beautiful, like a gorgeous space. And then I thought, okay, what would the day look like? And I just started playing. I think this is the other thing is that I’m a big one for just let’s just imagine. Imagine what could this look like? How would it be?
What would I do? And I start to play with those. And then I start to go into research mode as well where I’m like, okay. So I emailed Lisa and they got back in touch with me and obviously there was a speaker’s fee and all the rest of it. And I was like, okay, if that’s the fee and this is what Cercas pricing in, what would tickets need to be?
How many would I need to sell? So I’m still not committed to anything, I’m just. Still in play mode. I think that when you’re in that mode, it feels less serious and like you can just explore without too much pressure. And so I gathered all the information. I made the decision to do it. I didn’t have any money in my business.
Like I was, hadn’t really been doing a lot, but I thought, okay, I’m gonna put this on. And it was gonna cost about [00:24:00] 40,000. And so I obviously didn’t need to pay all that upfront, but I needed to pay about half. So I took about 20 grand out of our mortgage, which was like the over, like what we’d paid over in our mortgage.
And over the next six to nine months, I basically sold this event. But it wasn’t selling as well as I wanted it to, which was pretty stressful. And so I was connecting with other women in business communities. I was like doing everything that I could. And there were a lot of tears, Michael, like there were moments where I would be sitting there saying to my husband, I think I’ve lost our money.
Like this isn’t gonna work. And he was, he’s a total introvert, he’s pretty solid, and he was just, It’s fine. Like you’ll figure it out, don’t worry about it, just keep going. And I was like, that’s what I needed. And at the end of the day I just decided come hell or high water, there’s no way I’m losing this money.
Let’s go. And [00:25:00] I just moved into full on hustle mode. So I. I was doing to like, bring somebody and get 20% off. I was selling tables. I contacted Lisa’s people and I was like, I’m not, and I was really honest. I’m not gonna break even. I wanna do an evening event where Lisa like hawks for an hour.
And they were like, yep, okay. So I think just being really honest with that. So basically by running the evening event as well, which was a conversation with Lisa Messenger, for people who couldn’t come to the whole day. Then we ended up breaking even. But I hustled my butt off cuz I was like, there is no way that I’m gonna lose this money.
But that was a very big lesson for me, in events and managing costs and, just sitting with risk as. Yeah, an amazing story and you detailed quite well in chapter six. So on Wednesday the 4th of March, 2015, you held the first Epic Business Summit with 88 women in attendance for the [00:26:00] day and 125 in the evening.
Now was the evening session that made you. Break e breakeven. So yeah, an amazing story that you’re say, and thank you for sharing that as well. And one of the things you touched on as well was the acronym for dream. So basically you talk about the more I do big things in my business, the more I’ve realized that I’ll use the little formula that you call dream.
So D is for dream. R is for research where you talked about you were in research. So first you dream about something. This is like my book’s, success in 57, broken down into six words. So dream at first, do your research second, and then explore the idea. And then A is to ask. So you have to ask. And then m.
I like what you said when you got in that sticky point, there was lots of tears. You said, come hell or high water, you’ll make it happen. And you made it happen. So Emmy’s for making it happen. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah event running events is very stressful. I just went to a massive event.
For David Goggins last week, and it was put on by Ethan Dati and it was great. Anyway, I was like, I’ve got ambitions to run these type events. There was [00:27:00] 3000 people there in Melbourne, I think 2000 Sydney and 1000 Brisbane, so 6,000 people in Australia, and it was such an amazing event. But yeah, you gotta put down this one, probably a million, 1.5, 2 million at least before you sell a ticket.
So it’s like there’s a lot of stress. But that was, I think, 18. In the making to make that particular happen. But yeah, I run networking events as well with a business partner of mine and in Melbourne too. It’s fun, it’s exciting, but they’re not, they, it’s pretty stressful to put on.
Anyway we’ll move on, but that’s a to a total. Oh, I’d rather go to events than to actually do that as well. Moving on as well. So we’ll talk about the book as well. You talk about play big brand brand bold. When did it come out and why did you write the book? Yeah, so I launched it in November, 2019.
I have to say that I started writing it at about two years before where I was like, oh, I’m gonna write a book. Like I feel I, that’s something that I wanted to. Birth in a book. Your third child. Your third child. . I know. I was like, [00:28:00] let me write a book cuz obviously that’s easy. Not so I started it and then I was like a bull out of a gate.
I feel like Lisa inspired me. She had a lot of books and I was like, oh, I love reading her books. And it makes me feel really connected to her. And I look like we were saying before we started recording, I’m a big storyteller. And I’m like, okay, let me do this. And so I was, yeah, like a bull out of a gate. I wrote I don’t know, 22,000 words and then I just stopped
I just was like, I just stopped and I left it for a couple of years. And then I feel like I got to the point in my business where I had massive. . I think that when I started the book, I had an idea for what I wanted it to be, but I got to the point where I was like, why am I writing this? What exactly am I saying here?
And I think like it probably took me that year or two for me to really find my own voice when it came to business and why I did what I did and how I had evolved over that time as [00:29:00] well. And so when I picked the book back up, And I had been doing my podcast for quite a while, like at that point too, and I always say, , especially to my clients who are wanting to build their personal brand, is that the podcast really helped me to develop my voice, and it helped me to develop my thinking, my thought leadership, what I wanted to be known for and what I wanted to say.
And so I’d now accumulated all of this content through the programs that I’d created and through the podcast episodes that I had done. And so when I came back to the book, I felt like I had all of this content now that was just perfect for putting into the book. And so I came back to it with a completely different way of thinking.
And so I took a lot of that content. I put it into the book, we rearranged it, copy edited it, put some more stories in, and got it to the point where I was like, okay, this is now, like I’m happy with it. And [00:30:00] we, I did a sell, like I did self-publishing and we had a big party on the, I think it was the 21st of November cuz it was the day before my birthday.
So we had it on the 21st of November 2019. I think I had about 60 or 70 people at the book launch. So when they bought their ticket, they got a copy of the book and I signed all the books and all, and it was so fun and I absolutely loved. And yeah, it’s still, I’m here today talking to you and it’s just been such an amazing journey of connecting with people through the book.
Absolutely. And having the book launches like a baby shower. It’s he’s my new baby. He’s my new baby. It’s great. We’re both Scorpios. I’m in November as well, November 14th, so that’s cool. Yeah, you can’t beat my one. You put it down for two years. I’ll put mine down for 10 years. So I wrote my book in 2010.
I started in 2007, finished it in 2010, and I didn’t have a, And I didn’t have an audience, so I put it on the shelf for 10 years. I rewrote it six times. And in 2020 I said, it’s about time I give birth to this thing because it was such a big weight [00:31:00] carrying around. But next book I will do, I’ll tell more stories cuz as I said to you before, all mines is just fact-based as well.
Moving on. in the book you interview 50 women in business and they’re very generous with their time and stuff. And you ask a couple things about mindset minefield. Let’s go over that. So the five mindset minefields that keep coming up. Number one is talking about caring what people think and asking for permission.
Why do we need to overcome that? Yeah. So just to touch on that. So basically I’d come from that business and strategy background and from a project management background as well, where I’m like if this is the goal, then this is how we reverse engineer it and these are the things that we do.
So I was very matter of fact in the way that I thought. And so when I started working with women in business, we would develop these strategies, their brand strategy, their business strategy and it’d be like, okay, great. And then a couple of months would pass and I’d. What’s happening? Like where, are you doing what we talked about?
And I just discovered that there was all of these [00:32:00] mindset mind fields as I call them, and it was something I needed to learn more about. And so I interviewed like these 50 women over a six month, eight month period where I would just ask them a whole lot of questions. What do you wanna be doing?
And if you’re not doing that, what are you doing? And what is it that you want from your business and all these things. And so I really got deep into it. And so one of the biggest things was caring what people think. And I think that, we’re in a video era now, is we’re talking on the podcast in sort of 2023.
And I still think that it’s one of the biggest issues that, that a lot of entrepreneurs have. And the interesting thing is that when you work for somebody else, it’s not something that you deal with a lot because it’s their brand. So you are behind somebody else’s brand. You are doing the work. If people buy it, there’s, it’s just, it doesn’t really impact you cause it’s not your business and it’s not your brand.
But when we are in our own [00:33:00] business, Now we care. What if somebody doesn’t like what I say? What if somebody doesn’t buy from me? What if I get rejected? What if I say something and somebody disagrees with me? And so all of these stories that we tell ourselves about what’s gonna happen, that is gonna have a negative consequence just stops.
I like so many people in their tracks from sharing what it is that they have because of that fear. Amazing. I have a quote that I’ve heard many years ago. It talks about in your twenties you care what people think about you in your forties, you. Stop caring what other people think about you and your sixties.
You realize no one was actually thinking about you in the first place.
And it’s oh shit. No one was actually thinking about me. It’s I care what people think and they’re just like, I don’t care what people think. And it’s fuck. No one was actually really thinking about you in the first place. No, that, that’s cool. The other minefield you talk about is, will it work comparisonitis?
We, we just think we compare. Compare. [00:34:00] Imposter syndrome is big. A lot of people you know doing that’s, that comes from comparing as well. And you think you’re not good enough because you keep looking outward and not inward. And then protecting your head space as well. How important is it to protect your own environment?
I know you talk about that in the book as well, but your particular space, how important is that to protect that physical and mental as well? Yeah, I think. So from a physical perspective, I think just put yourself in situations that you know are going to stretch your thinking. Create an environment for you to thrive in and make sure that you’re around people who support you to be able to achieve the big goals and ideas that you want to.
And it’s not about having yes, people around you. I almost think that we thrive in an environment where people, where there’s that banter around, so you’ve got this idea how you’re gonna do. , what does it look like? Let’s bounce some things around. And so you wanna have that, but also because we live in this online world, I think protecting your headspace is really important too, is that if you are following people who make you feel like rubbish, you need to [00:35:00] be self-aware enough to clean that up.
So if you are like, and I did a podcast on it recently where I was just talking about you. Being in a content coma where basically you just consume, and it paralyzes you to the point where you’re just like, I can’t consume because I’m not as good as them. Or I can’t create, sorry, I can’t create cuz I’m not as good as them.
Or I can’t create because I don’t know what I would say. And it’s just because we’ve got this bombardment. Of content constantly. If you’re on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, wherever, and you’ve just got to make the decision what environment physically and mentally do I need to keep myself in, for me to work at my best, for me to show up and feel great when I create, for me to allow myself enough head space and quiet for me to actually hear my own thoughts so that I.
Bring those to life instead of potentially regurgitating what other people [00:36:00] say or just being in that content coma and comparison a lot of the time. So I just think that’s so important and it’s even more important now than when I wrote it back then. Absolutely. Yeah. People are in this hamster wheel of info porn where they just get so consumed with consumption that they trick themselves and we’re the easiest ones to fool ourselves into thinking that’s.
And so they don’t realize that they’re not creating, they’re consuming, watching TV shows is different than creating a TV show. Listening to a podcast is different than hosting a podcast or being a podcast guest. Reading a book is different than writing a book, and we can go on and about this as well, but, You gotta get off the train of one thing I heard the other day, which is fascinating.
So I was at a networking event and I was like, I don’t need to network. I need to, I’ve got so much fulfillment I have to do. And someone said the word odd, I’ve got so much fulfillment, but he’s networking. And I’ve thought to myself, why am I even in this room? I’ve got so many clients already that I need to fulfill their commitments.
I don’t need any more clients. So that’s the same thing as stop consuming content, get your life in [00:37:00] order. Make your bed, clean your house. Then you know, It’s that catch 22 of don’t go too heavy on one side. There’s, you gotta find your own balance physically and mentally in the world around is that we’re just constantly bombarded with opportunities and content as well.
I digress. One of the chapter five, you talk about Mind Over matter and I love this one. Money bootcamp. What was the money bootcamp you went to and how did that change your life in terms of money? Yeah, so this is Denise Duffel Thomas. So she’s a female entrepreneur. She’s been a money mindset coach for years and.
I’ve done a couple of money mindset courses as well, and once again, you don’t, it’s almost like you don’t know any of this before you come into the entrepreneurial space. Like when you are working in corporate, it’s what is all of this stuff that people talk about? And then you come into the entrepreneurial space and you’re like, now you have to put yourself out there and now you have to charge, and now you have to talk about money.
And now you have to be okay with raising your prices and dealing with refund. And it’s just a lot of stuff that a lot of people feel [00:38:00] very icky about. They’re like, oh, like I, cuz a lot of times we’ve been brought up that money isn’t something that you discuss and all the rest of it. So you’ve gotta break through a lot of that and then you are carrying like a lot of your parents’ beliefs about money.
Even that we don’t talk about money. Historical belief that has been part of culture. When you don’t talk about money, you don’t talk about religion. Those are the two things, . But when you start getting into the entrepreneurial space, this is something that you’ve gotta be talking about.
And also, it’s okay to celebrate your financial wins. Like when you are running a business, money is the lifeblood of your business. If you don’t have clients and you don’t charge, you don’t have a business. So I think it’s just, it really started to help me become a lot more aware. Of my own money beliefs and how I felt about charging and how I felt about increasing my charging and all the rest of it.
And one of the things that I used to do is that, if somebody was to say Sue, how much are you? I remember at the time it felt a bit awkward. And so I used to do this [00:39:00] thing with my husband where we’d be brushing our teeth or whatever, and I’d be like, ask me how much I charge . And he would, and he’d be like, SU, how much did you charge me?
Like 2,500. And he’s okay. And I’d say, I’d be like, I’d say it to my dog. I’m like, Bo, I’m $2,500 . So I just. Made it feel normal. I just normalized it for myself. Is that an hour or is that a week? I’m interested , what? What was it? No, I don’t know. It was for like, I don’t know, a program or for something consulting, whatever it was.
I can’t remember now. A friend of mine, charges two and a half grand an hour, and sometimes my heart sings a little bit and my. That’s cool. Oh God, that’s a lot of money. I charge $250 an hour. I’m like, oh, wow, that’s expensive. Continue. Sorry. Yeah. No. But I love that because I think that those are the conversations that we wanna be having.
It’s I am always fascinated by, people who are like, yeah, I’m a thousand dollars an hour, and I don’t think any, the only thought [00:40:00] I have is, wow. I’m impressed that you value your time so much and that you know that you’ll bring value to the client, that you are totally comfortable to charge that.
And then it makes me think, and I think this is where protecting your head space and cultivating. A head space or an environment where you have people you really respect and when they charge a lot or when they do certain things, it actually helps you to stretch your belief that it’s possible for you rather than feeling like you are not enough.
And so that’s where I think if you can take a look at the people that you follow. So there’s certain people I follow where I’m just like, I wanna be around. Because they talk about money in such an incredible way that it makes me believe that it’s totally possible. Whereas there’s other people where I’m just like, oh, that makes me not feel enough.
So I think it’s just about if you’ve got those people, clear them out and focus on the ones that make you feel like it’s possible. Yeah, a absolutely. Your network is your net worth and, surround yourself with winners and people [00:41:00] talking about big tickets. I’ve got friends that mult million dollar here, million dollars.
It’s not a big deal to them. And I’m just like, give me one. Yeah I’ll take one. Give me one, throw 1.2 at me. That , if you’re handing them out, You hand them out I’ll be involved. But no, definitely people first network. One of the takeaways I got from that, the three piece positive patient and persistent as well, that you talk about sustain positive being patient and being persistent.
But just on that, Michael, just, I just wanna touch on that for a sec. I think that we live in a very, Like fast and easy entrepreneurial space where I have clients that come to me and they’re like, I wanna make six figures in the next 90 days. And they have zero audience. This is the first step into their business and like they don’t even know exactly what their products and services are, and I am a big one for simple business.
But also realizing that this is the long run. This is the long haul. We’re not here just to it’s not just gonna happen in a second. So that patience and that persistence, I [00:42:00] think is something that we need to talk about more, especially with people coming and going and now I’m just gonna go and make a million dollars.
I think there’s that expect. , that’s the next question I was gonna talk about. You talk about the courage to play big, but it’s also the courage to play long, the long game. I, me and Gary, ve born the same birthday, he stuffed me up because he talks about, macro patients, micro speed. So I’m like, Do so many things, but also I’m thinking about, oh, when I’m 80 I’m gonna be cool.
And I’m like no, you gotta just, get stuff right now as well. So I come from the two polarities of macro patients, micro speed. But you definitely need the courage to play long cuz we’re talking about your life, people trying to make a quick buck, but at what cost or what expense. So yeah you’re right, the whole entrepreneurial game is very sided.
You just gotta get on that in the middle and find your balance. That what can you do for. Decades. What can you talk about or do for decades? That’s, it’s a lifestyle, not a job. Like entrepreneurship is not a job. It’s a [00:43:00] lifestyle and not everyone’s cut out to do it. So just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and you are helping people.
That’s my big one through there. But yeah, we haven’t even talked about branding yet. Branding bold, brand power brand power baby. Talk about branding, positioning, visual branding, brand personality, chapter eight you dive into it as well. My philosophy around brand is that I’m all about brand first as far as business goes.
If you can build a brand that you are really proud of, that’s positioned well in the market. And I always talk about positioning like, I UK mad or. I’m not gonna walk into Mercedes and expect to pay $20,000 for a car. And so you’ve just gotta take a look and say, where am I positioning my brand?
And if I wanna charge premium prices, is my product premium? Is the look and feel of what I do. Premium is how I talk and show up. And am consistent. Is that premium? And so I think when it comes to brand, if you can create a brand that’s, Where people are attracted to you, what you do, what you say, and how you do it, then you’ll need to do less marketing and sales on the backend [00:44:00] because you’ve got people that are just like, how do I work with you?
And so if you can start to build a bold brand, and bold is not about colorful and loud, bold is about breaking the mold, doing things differently, going against the grain, and you can really start to find your own voice and kind of step out. The norm of your industry in order to stand out, then you will find the clients that are right for you and they’ll come to you instead of you having to chase.
So that’s just my inner nutshell. That’s like my philosophy around branding. Yeah. Thank you for sharing. And the other big one is like brand experience. So people don’t buy products. For the products they buy, things for the experience. My wife just bought a thousand dollars Vuitton belt recently and it’s very thin and I still couldn’t wrap my head around it.
Could have bought the same belt for five bucks. But the smile and energy she had when she wears this belt, when she brought it home, you don’t get that from a $5 belt. So she didn’t buy the belt, she bought the experience and [00:45:00] the feeling, and it’s not her first purchase, don’t get me wrong, , she’s, got high taste.
But that’s the difference between a brand that creates an experience. And I’ve bought Lou Vuitton shoes and I’ve got one pair of expensive shoes. I’ll wear ’em every now and then. I bought ’em music when Covid first happened down, it’s long story short I was on a cruise the last cruise of Australia where locked in Sydneys lockdown started to happen.
I was in Louis Vuitton. I’ve. Just bought a pair of shoes and every time I wear em, I bought ’em probably maybe 45 times. I feel great. I feel great. Now, I could have bought cheap shoes, but you know what the feeling that I got from the brand. So the brand carries over that experience. So how important is it to create a brand that has some sort of experience as well?
Yeah, so there’s two things with that. So Marty Newmeyer is the godfather of branding. He wrote the brand gap and the brand flip, if you ever wanna dive into brand. And one of the things that he says is that brand is the collective experiences that somebody has when they come in contact with you. And so the, so that’s the first thing is that [00:46:00] experience is everything.
Like when somebody connects with you. When they’re talking to you, when they come to your website, they will have an immediate feeling when they’re on your socials. They’ll have a feeling when they listen to you. They’ll have a feeling. And so you’ve gotta really think about what is the feeling I wanna create for my audience and for my clients?
And you need to craft that. I think people leave it to chance. And I actually want you to go and say, when somebody contacts you, what is the email that they get? Is that how you would want to the first connection to be when they buy from you? What’s the experience when you send gifts? What’s the experience?
And the second thing is that with the Louis for Tom Belt and Shoes, which I love. Is that brand is about identity and you have to understand when your client buys from you, what does it say about them. So somebody can go and buy a $20,000 car, or they can go and buy $120,000 car. The car will still get them from A to B.
The start, the car still has seats and engine, a steering well and all the rest of it, but the [00:47:00] car says so. About the person who’s driving it and people who want luxury goods and luxury products and are willing to pay for them. It’s about their identity and what it says about them, and so your brand needs to, you need to understand what your brand says about your audience so that you can speak to them at that level.
Stop reading my brain because I’ve worked for Mercedes-Benz for a long time and sold Mercedes-Benz for a long time. So I can definitely talk about brand and the their slogan is the best or nothing, and people buy the product based on, what they feel. And it’s crazy. We could talk for hours on this as well.
One one last couple things before we jump off is storytelling and story selling as well. What’s the difference? This is my favorite we were talking about the fact that the book’s got a lot of stories. So when we listen to stories, number one, we lean in more. So when you are gonna tell me a story, I’m like, and then what happened?
and then what happened? So when we create story as part of our brand, number one, it makes us more memorable. [00:48:00] People remember stories more than they remember facts and figures. The second thing is that when you tell me a story, I will come back again because you tell me great stories, and so I know that the next time I come and visit you, I’m like, what else does Michael have to tell me?
Yeah. The other thing is that what you can do is that when you become a great story, , you can also story sell. And so what I mean by that is, let’s say I’ve got a product and I say, and I’m on socials or whatever, and I say, so I was working with my client, Michael the other day, and. We were talking about how you create events and I know that, this is everything that we’ve learned about events and these were my experiences when it comes to events.
By the way, I’ve got an event coming up in September that you have to come along to. If you really wanna have an experience where you are going to feel amazing, learn a lot, and connect with other people, then you have to come to that. But anyway, so Michael and I, when we were talking about events, and so you can it’s, I call it the drive by.
And so when you story sell, it’s about sharing an experience with your [00:49:00] listeners about something that’s happened, something you’ve learned, but in the process of telling them that you’re also giving them an insight into the product, the service, the event. Or whatever it is that you’re actually talking about.
And so when we share things that our clients that we’ve had conversations with our clients and the problems that I might have solved when I had this conversation with my client, the listener is actually going, I have that problem. Maybe Sue can help me with that as well. I do this on the podcast.
So the reason, another reason I do the podcast is I don’t have time to do short videos. Tell ’em what If my real audience listens to the podcast and they don’t just watch the first couple minutes and take off. They know who I am, what I’m doing, like I’m not, this is me communicating to my audience. Where I’m at now, what’s happening today what I’m selling what I’m interested in.
This is my opportunity as well to story sell and story tell, but I’ve got nothing to sell. But also telling about this is my life as well. Cuz you’re, this is probably a good place to segue your podcast as well. [00:50:00] How many episodes you’ve done? A couple hundred. That’s your journey, your story.
Do you wanna talk about the, your particular podcast as well and plug. Yeah. Yeah. I love my podcast. So I’ve got the Brand Builders Lab podcast. I think I’m at 200, I wanna say two 70. Maybe about that. Awesome. I’ve done nine, I think. 978. It said I have to read the few. Oh my gosh. That’s amazing.
That’s so good. But what actually happened is that I was in a renovation. I used to do YouTube videos. This is years ago. And then I was, we were renovating and I couldn’t really do that. And I was listening to Darren Ruse. Do you know who Darren Ruse is? He was pro blogger. No, never. So back in the day when blogging was big, Darren Ruse used to talk about pro blogging and photography and stuff, and he was on a Facebook Live and he said, if you wanna be a speaker, which I was and I wanted to do more of, he said, start a podcast.
He said, because basically you have to give a keynote every single week and you’ll become really good at. Sharing your message, people will [00:51:00] be able to listen to you and get your vibe and see the quality of what you share as well as like your energy and your personality. And I have gotten a lot of speaking gig bookings from the podcast.
I’ve never spoken once. Shop be a I should. I should. What am I doing? You gotta hook me up. Hook me up with your people. Yeah, it’s been really great. And people who I just haven’t I ended up speaking at a financial advisor. Conference with a hundred financial advisors about brand experience because the director of that business listened to my podcast, which I thought was, I was just like, really?
So you just get lots of different people that listen. But for me, as I said earlier, it’s really helped me to develop my thought leadership. And it’s helped me to lean into how I think. So as an extrovert and just my personality, I develop my thinking through speak. So I’m like somebody who goes and brainstorms and speaks out loud and that sort of thing.
So the podcast, sometimes I’ll be on a podcast talking about a particular topic, and as I’m talking [00:52:00] about it, new thoughts are coming to me and new ways of talking about it, and I’m like, wow, I didn’t even know that. I had that in me to say. And it’s been great. That’s ex exactly what I do. So you’re just, you’re reading my mind.
It’s ex, it’s exactly the same thing, and it’s an opportunity for you to talk about what you’re passionate about as well. And it’s your show. You can do what you want as well. Just to tie it back, to finish off the book, you finish off chapter 16 and it’s called Hiring Yourself as a CEO of your business.
How important is this to hire yourself as a ceo? Yeah, this is a mindset thing as well. So what happens is that we come out of employment, we go into our own business, and then we just become an employee and a slave to our business. This is where people get burnt out. They work all the time.
They’re like at the beck and call of clients. They are not pricing themselves well. They’re not looking at their numbers. Things like that. They’re just like on this churn and burn wheel. And what happens is that when you decide to hire yourself as a ceo, you actually take a step back and you take time for your own [00:53:00] business.
Like your business should always be your best client. Yeah. Where you take time out. So Mondays are my CEO days where I’m like, where are we at with money? Do I need to send invoices out? Where are we at with our metrics and analytics? Are we hitting goals? Where are we at with our projects?
If I wanna hit these goals in my business this year, when are we doing it? How are we doing it? What do I need to do and how do I need to plan? I have my meeting with my VA every. Monday as well. And so what is she doing and does she need me to help her with anything? When you step up as the ceo, you can start to make more informed decisions, and I always say you can get to make like more commercial decisions rather than emotional ones.
And you can start to set the culture for how you want your business to run. So we say yes to these clients. We say no to those clients. We don’t do that work, we do this work. Is the way that we are charging right now gonna get us to our goal for this year? If it’s not, then we need to start increasing our [00:54:00] pricing.
And looking at how we do that. So you really come at it from a place of running a business well, rather than just being on the churn and burn cycle of doing whatever comes your way and being reactionary. Got it. That’s amazing advice. One last thing to plug you, people wanna work with you and find you.
Is it the best way to do, apart from the book, the Brand Builders Academy with the online course too? Or what’s the best way they can get in touch? Yeah, so if they just go to suez chadwick.com, then you can find out all about me there. We just rebranded the Brand Builders Academy to the Bold Business Academy just this year, which is awesome.
And yeah, but you can find out podcast programs, coaching, all there. Perfect. Sue, thank you for being a great guest on the Best Book Pits podcast and tomorrow it’s out there. Where do you spend time socially as well? Where can people connect with you socially? Yeah, Instagram. So I’m Sue Chadwick on all social platforms, but I like to hang out on Instagram the most.
Awesome. Thank you for being a guest on the podcast and yeah. follow, you. Follow Sue, check out her book if you are [00:55:00] in business. Yeah, if you come this far in the podcast, you know that she knows her stuff, so check her stuff out and we shall speak soon. Okay. Thanks so much for having me.
All right. Thanks, Sue. Cheer.