Suzi Dafnis is the CEO at HerBusiness. It is a global connection network for over 30,000 women in business to get the mentors, contacts, referrals, knowledge, and skills they need to grow their confidence, make more money, build their businesses, expand their network and create the lives they love.
Suzi’s entrepreneurial journey started in the spare room of her Sydney apartment in 1994 when her business partner and she started a boutique events company that represented speakers and authors from the USA in Australia.
Over the years she has grown several multi-million dollar businesses in the events, publishing and education niches – with teams in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.
Suzi’s BIG passion is helping women business owners to grow and scale their business so that they can create their ideal lifestyle and make a difference in the world.
Discover her success formula of vision, collaboration, and courage.
What you will learn
- How a mission bigger than herself has driven this entrepreneur to succeed
- The importance of the right mindset for growing several multi-million dollar businesses
- What Suzi learned from working at Virgin Records about building a personal brand
- How to grow a virtual connection network of 30,000 people
- The secrets of powerful business collaboration
- That knowledge is power for entrepreneurs
- How to take advantage of the power of connections and networks
- The need to dive deep and access courage during tough times
- The magic of motion and action over ideas
Jeff Bullas: Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Jeff Bullas Show. Today we have Suzi Dafnis with us. And before I get to have a lovely fireside chat with Suzi who I've known for 30 years nearly, maybe?
Suzi Dafnis: Wow.
Jeff Bullas: I'm going to introduce her. Suzi's entrepreneurial journey started in the spare room of a Sydney apartment. I've heard that story many times, sometimes the garage, but she started in her spare room in a Sydney apartment, much as what I did. She started in 1994 when her business partner had started a boutique events company that represented speakers and authors from the USA here in Australia. Over the years, she's grown multiple multimillion dollar businesses in events, publishing, and education niches with chains in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.
Jeff Bullas: Not everything has worked, and there has been a degree of trial and error and a lot of bumps in the road. Suzi has surrounded herself with great mentors and like-minded peers. And that connection network has sustained her. Suzi's big passion is helping women's business owners to grow and scale their business so they can create their ideal lifestyle and make a difference in the world.
Jeff Bullas: Suzi has headed up her business, formerly the Australian Business Women's Network, for the past 23 years; two plus decades. Wow. So she's persistent and resilient, obviously, and that's great. And which today has more than 30,000 amazing women. And a few men have snuck into that fold as well, apparently. I think actually, I've been on your show a few years ago.
Jeff Bullas: Her goals include finding the best education mentors or resources from around the globe to help them get the skills and knowledge and support they need to succeed. It's a connection network for women in business to get the mentors, contacts, referrals, knowledge, and skills they need to grow their confidence, make more money, build their business, expand network, and create the lives they love. Thank you, Suzi, for agreeing to come on the show. It's a pleasure. And we've bumped into each other over the years in various forms and guises, and welcome to the show. It's just so great to have you here.
Suzi Dafnis: Thank you, and congratulations on the show. I'm very excited to be a part of one of the early episodes. And yes, it's been a while. The length of my introduction, I think, is reflective of how long I've been around. So yes, it's a pleasure to be here.
Jeff Bullas: Now, Suzi, I'm going to go a little bit back in time. I did some research on you, and it's all good, by the way. It's all good.
Suzi Dafnis: Good to hear.
Jeff Bullas: I haven't found anything in the closet yet. Not that I want to. In 1994, you started Pow Wow Events with your partner, Peter Johnston. Tell me a little bit about what inspired you to start Pow Wow Events.
Suzi Dafnis: It was not so much inspiration as a need to survive at the time. I had been retrenched from a job that I was working at and which my partner PJ had been a partner in. It had closed down within a very short period of time. I was handed a payout of $400 and a filing cabinet. That was my payout.
Jeff Bullas: So the filing cabinet is worth more than the payout by the sounds of it.
Suzi Dafnis: I still have that filing cabinet down in the garage. But that was all they could give me. Actually, that's not true. They also gave us, as part of our payout, a database of about 1000 clients. And that really then became the start of our new business. But it was out of necessity. Initially, I was going to be a marketing consultant. I had some marketing chops, and I thought, "Look, I'll just..." I had some very basic design skills; PageMaker something point something. I can't remember. I thought, "I'm just going to start consulting and we'll figure it out along the way."
Suzi Dafnis: My partner PJ had some sales skills. He had a background in radio, very good with sales and strategy. The business while it started in 1994, probably took almost two years to really... for us to create a viable business model. And in the beginning, like a lot of businesses, we were doing whatever we could to bring money in. Because we understood events, sometimes we were event organizers. Other times we were selling tickets for people like Tony Robbins. Other times we were doing corporate events and hosting events for large corporations. We were just doing whatever we could. Sometimes I was doing design and we were doing consulting.
Suzi Dafnis: But it took a good couple of years for us to find our niche and find that pointing end that we could really excel at. And for us, that was in having a boutique organization that represented, as you said, mostly American speakers and authors in the Australian marketplace. And not only representing them on stage, but also publishing their books, in those days, DVDs, CDs, manuals and things like that. So we created a model that was actually based on my previous history of having worked in the music industry, where we would create brands out of these individuals. And that was a business we ended up having for 13 years before we sold it.
Jeff Bullas: So you took content and the people behind that content, and you made personal brands out of them.
Suzi Dafnis: Exactly.
Jeff Bullas: Okay. You kick off, you're two years in, you're scrambling to earn money any way you can to put food on the table. It was not so much about an inspiration from a book or anything. It was more like, "We just got to survive. We're going to put food on the table, we've got to pay the bills, we're going to pay the rent." Who were your mentors along... Because you very much talk about in your business, what mentors have helped you along the way. So you start, you kick off, you're two years in and it runs for 13 years. Who's basically inspiring you from a mentor and resource funding?
Suzi Dafnis: I'm a big fan of mentors, always had a mentor. Because I always knew that it was going to be a fast track. That someone who had done this before was going to allow me to take steps faster. I'm never afraid to say I don't know. I think that's probably one thing that's worked really well for me. In the early days it was who knew how to do something I couldn't do. Once we had a viable business model, we had never done an extensive budget. A friend of mine was head of finance for a particular company at the time, he helped me do a budget. Another friend who was a corporate trainer who helped corporations with their visions, sat down and helped us do a vision. I would just call on people in both formal and informal ways.
Suzi Dafnis: Over the years, books have been mentors, but then I have had some more formal arrangements. Like one of my long-term mentors and someone who made a huge difference to my life once I started my business is a man named Robert Kiyosaki who's the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. He and his wife, Kim, were mentors to me and patriot both from thinking big, growing a business perspective, and also from an investing viewpoint because alongside running our business, we've always invested as well. And so he's been very instrumental.
Suzi Dafnis: I had my very first mentor when I was working at Virgin in my 20s. I didn't have a degree of any sort. I had three interviews to get into Virgin because it was just a business I wanted to work in. Though I'd had a little bit of experience in promotion and marketing roles, just by chance, I gravitated towards them, I started an entry level as a receptionist at Virgin when they were just opening up the Megastores.
Jeff Bullas: Wow, okay.
Suzi Dafnis: Again, I have never had a problem with volunteering or going back a step in order to go forward. Very quickly, within months of being at Virgin, the marketing director took me under his wing and said, "I think you have a natural flair for this. I want you to come and work with me." And for three years he mentored me and he said, "You are going to have to go and get some study." I went to night college and I studied marketing, but then he would take me to every meeting, to all the ad agencies and really pushed me to develop my marketing skills and had me become more confident.
Suzi Dafnis: I think the role that mentors, both women and men in my life, have always been to... they see more potential in me than I see. And that they would help me take those steps where perhaps on my own I might not. That's exactly what I do today with the women in our community, is see the potential in them and then guide them towards a direction that perhaps I've walked, but making the path so much easier for them because they're doing it with the support. Not only is a mentor lifting you up, but it's also that gentle nudge on your back that pushes you forward. So I'm a big fan of mentors.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. I think one of the biggest benefits of a mentor is they can keep you accountable. You just mentioned that. So it's not only inspiring, so saying, "Okay, you're not doing what's needed." Or, "You need to do this." This podcast was put off for... Well, I can procrastinate. I have super powers there sometimes. I bought the equipment for the podcast, I think, three or four years ago and sat in the cupboard there obviously not doing anything.
Jeff Bullas: But I caught up with a friend of mine just before Christmas who I mentioned I was going to do the podcast. Of course, still hadn't started, and he made me accountable in a very loving, nice way. It's really good. So your experience with working for Virgin, now that's a pretty cool place. You applied three times, you said?
Suzi Dafnis: I had to do three interviews to get the receptionist role. It was nuts.
Jeff Bullas: To get to the receptionist, right?
Suzi Dafnis: Yes, including with the managing director. Virgin, yes, it was one of those brands... As someone in their 20s working for a company that sent you to music gigs every second night and you got to coordinate their performances at Darling Harbour, it was pretty cool. It was pretty, pretty cool.
And it was a company that was growing quickly and they were innovative. So there was lots to learn just by watching how they worked with teams, how quickly they grew, how they opened up new stores, how they dealt with PR. They're PR masters. And so it was really, really good training for someone in their 20s who did want to go on and do more in the area of marketing.
Jeff Bullas: You're talking about people turning... from the music industry was actually turning personal brands or turning content or music into a personal brand. Richard Branson is the absolute master of the personal brand, isn't he?
Suzi Dafnis: Absolutely.
Jeff Bullas: So tell me a little bit of the personal brand as you've been part of an experience. What are some of the secrets to building a personal brand, you believe, after being in Virgin and of course doing it for yourself and for your business and helping others?
Suzi Dafnis: I think that's a really great question. I didn't set out to create a personal brand. In fact, for many, many years, I stood behind the company name as the brand. I'm a great conduit of bringing great experts like you, like all the wonderful speakers over the years that we've brought to our community; the Seth Godins and Guy Kawasakis and Richard Rubens and Amy Porterfields. I could go on and on. I would be the host or I would be behind the scenes.
Suzi Dafnis: And then a few years ago, really, at the encouragement of a couple of friends, it was like, "Suzi, you have so much experience that you're not sharing. You keep bringing us these fabulous guests, but you also have experience to share." I started to lean into this idea that whether I liked it or not, I had become a brand.
Suzi Dafnis: Eleven, 12 years ago when I was invited to be on the Dragon's Den show which was the show that was before Shark Tank, it was a very similar show. It was because I had a personal brand. It was because people would start to see me. I'd had lots of media because of the success of our businesses. And so even though I was a reluctant brand, I finally moved into it and realized that I can use that to leverage the work that I'm trying to do. I can reach more people if I'm willing to be more visible.
Suzi Dafnis: I've been a very early adopter of podcasts and webinars. I was a very reluctant Facebook Live participant, I have to say. Especially small business owners, which is the audience that I speak to mainly, is that if you do the same thing as the next person, if you're a graphic designer and there's another graphic designer, if you're a stylist and there's another stylist, the person who builds the relationship with the customer is the one that customer's going to choose. And so for me, building a personal brand became about this, "Can I help more people if they know who I am?" And when I realized that I could, my customers' needs became the reason for me to be willing to cringe, but still get on the Facebook Live, cringe but still get on the webinar.
Suzi Dafnis: I don't say it's easy, but it's been very, very worthwhile. For me, it's just opened up so many doors. You talked about us being a connection network earlier, and this is one of the ways that we differentiate ourselves. My ability to have doors open for me is because of the connections I've made personally with people. We've known each other for 30 years, but my ability today... and I don't say this to brag, but to pick up the phone and ask a favor or ask for a referral or be introduced to someone is because I have made myself known to the people that matter to me, the people who can help my cause and my cause is to support as many women in business as possible. And so for me, my building my brand, it's nice, but for me, it comes with my mission. My mission is to help as many women as possible. I can do that better the more visible I am than hiding behind my brand. You know what I mean? My corporate brand.
Jeff Bullas: Absolutely. I think the other thing that I've noticed about you, and when I initially met you, is you're willing to give away a lot. In other words, you can't ask something of someone unless you've given before. We all watch it on LinkedIn, "Look, help me, do this for me." I'm going, "I don't know you. Have you connected with me?" But you and for me, too, I have discovered over the years is that you give before you ask. And you've been giving so much value to your community for literally decades now.
Jeff Bullas: I think that's something that a lot of people can learn from is... and this is the thing about social media and content marketing that I've discovered over the years, is that people go, "Well, you're giving all this information away for free if you're an idiot." I'm going, "Maybe I am." But I'm willing to take on that experiment, which is inspired by David Meerman Scott's book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, which is about attracting an audience. And you do that by giving information away and trying to help people and make a difference in their lives, which comes from the mission.
Suzi Dafnis: Well, and look at the difference you've made to so many people through the work that you've done for free. There is always a payoff for us. It just may not be monetary, but it's relationships and impact and so many other reasons for why we do what we do.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. For me, one of the biggest joys in life is to actually have conversations, whether they're virtual or whether you're around a dinner table at a party. For me, it's visceral. I can almost feel the passion and joy just rising as we share laughter, we have a few wines, we share jokes, we share stories, whether you're on a journey together on the other side of the world, or whether it's just in your local hood.
Jeff Bullas: And for me, I feel so privileged to actually be able to have conversations with people like yourself, Suzi, because I'm actually trying to find out the secret sauce that I can share with other people to be able to help them make their own dent in the universe. That's what's really inspiring. And yes, I've gone to conferences around the world and I've had people come up to me saying, "Jeff, I've been reading your blog for the last five, six years and you inspired me to start a marketing agency and now we have 30 or 40 people." I'm going, "Wow."
Suzi Dafnis: Wow, that's fantastic.
Jeff Bullas: When you get that sort of feeling, "Okay, I've made a difference." Then as you build a team around you that you can make a bigger difference. I think that's the fun part, it's like, "How can we scale this?" That opens up a new question that I'm going to ask you now is, you started Pow Wow, you're a few years in. Obviously, it's working very well. You have connected with Robert Kiyosaki. He was one of my idols back in the '90s. I think he's sold 40 or 50 million books now.
Suzi Dafnis: I don't know what it's up to, but it's going to be up there somewhere. Yeah.
Jeff Bullas: How did you scale Pow Wow?
Suzi Dafnis: This is my favorite topic. Because again, working with so many business owners, I know that some people are solopreneurs out of choice. Others are solopreneurs because they do not know how to scale. And so at HerBusiness... and I didn't have this language then, but for now it's like, in order to be... We see big business, we see Richard Branson and we think, "I want to grow a business." And yet we don't know how to get off being a solopreneur quite often. We need to transition to having a team. For me, that was the biggest transformation for me. When it was just me and PJ and when we would have a friend come in and answer the phones for a little bit or someone's daughter come and stuff on envelopes, because we used to do a lot of direct mail in those days, it felt like a team.
Suzi Dafnis: Something I did learn from Robert Kiyosaki is that business is a team sport. It started me thinking about, "I don't want to be a solopreneur. I do want to have a team and I do want to be a business owner, and a business owner with a difference." This is Kiyosaki's language, and as a solopreneur, you are the business. As a business owner, you have a team and you have systems, so you have some leverage. And so for me, we started to grow the team.
Suzi Dafnis: I remember, Jeff, the fourth time I hired and lost a receptionist, I noticed that the only thing in common was me. And so what it came down to was, I didn't have the systems, and the woman... they were all women in that instance, didn't know what was expected. They didn't know what success looked like. We didn't have our processes down. And I expected them to be a mind reader. And that was a good early lesson for me.
Suzi Dafnis: We started to do things like systemize and create procedures, and create a culture of team and learning. I had to become a leader. Now I was 26 and a half, almost 27 when I started my business. I ended up hiring people who were far more advanced, far more experienced than me and also people younger than me, but I felt so out of my depth growing a team. Because I had to do my own work, but also lead. Just this going in and out of doing my own work and having my finger in too many pies was exhausting. That's what I see every single day; women just get totally burnt out.
Suzi Dafnis: I started in '94, by '98, we had a million dollar business and it was growing and growing. And then, because there was two of us, me and PJ, our tentacles could carry a team of 10 because we could manage it. But we were going to get stuck there. Business was growing and demanding that we get better as leaders. One of the things that happened was in the year 2000. Robert Kiyosaki had been... we were probably a team of 15 by this stage, and had been saying to me, "Will you come to the US and open up an office?" I would say, "No." And he's like, "Would you come to the US and open up an office?" And we would say, "No." Because what are we going to do with these 15 staff? There's no way we could leave, because there was no middle management. There was no one who was second in charge. We were the top of the tree.
Suzi Dafnis: Then in the year 2000, in April... It's this month, actually. Oh my gosh, it's next week. Oprah called, literally, Oprah called. She didn't call me. She called Robert and wanted him to be on the show. So he said, "This is really happening. I really need you guys to come and set up the event side of my business in the US just like you represent me and a whole lot of other people in Australia." At that point, we had to make a decision, "Were we going to take this huge leap?" As terrified as we were, here's what it forced us to do. It forced us to hire a CEO. It forced us to put in middle managers. It forced us to create KPIs and budgets and systems and processes beyond what we had done. And it forced us to scale and to leverage ourselves into the role of CEO and allow the business to run itself.
Suzi Dafnis: So then for seven years, I lived in the US and traveled back and forth and had this team of managers in both countries who grew the business. We could have said no to that opportunity. It was a big risk. The dollar was 48 cents. It's pretty pathetic now, but it was 48 cents to the dollar, so it was very expensive going into that market. But we took that leap. What I learned was, firstly, I love the team and I've become a much better leader. I'm actually a really good leader now. And so as business owners, one of the hardest shifts is to have that mental shift of being a small business owner or a solopreneur more often, to having a team and stepping into that CEO role and putting into your business what only you can contribute.
Suzi Dafnis: That doesn't mean we all have to grow big businesses. It just means we want to be clear. If you're really clear, "I just want to be a solopreneur. I want to earn enough to contribute to my family, to go on vacations, to have a nice car, to feel like I'm making a contribution to serve some clients." Great. But if you want to be what we call at HerBusiness, micropreneur, so you want like up to 15 people in different roles and you want to be leveraged. You want to be able to take a vacation and the business is still there when you get back, then you have to be a different type of leader. It takes a different mindset. It takes you thinking and doing very different things to being a solopreneur. For me, one of my passions has become to help women grow and scale a business by helping them put in place the systems, the planning, the processes, the financials, the technology, et cetera, to go from being a solopreneur to growing and scaling the business. A long answer to your question.
Jeff Bullas: That's exactly what I wanted to hear. Because the conversation I have with many successful entrepreneurs, is moving from the solopreneur mindset to scaling the business where they actually have processes and systems. It's both an opportunity and a challenge, isn't it? That challenges your mindset, okay?
Suzi Dafnis: Yes, absolutely, and my knowledge too
Jeff Bullas: Knowledge and experience. That's maybe one of your biggest challenges. What other challenges did you find along the way as you're still building Pow Wow Events, which you actually sold in 2007, didn't you, I think? Is that right?
Suzi Dafnis: That's right. That's correct.
Jeff Bullas: What are the other challenges you struck along the way?
Suzi Dafnis: Mindset was the biggest thing and just going from growth to growth. The other was imposter syndrome, for me. I know this is one that is usually more common with women than men from the research I've done. And that is becoming more successful than you imagine, hitting goals that you didn't even think that you could set. Then having to settle into that way of being.
Suzi Dafnis: I came from a working class family. I have no formal business education. I left home before I finished my high school certificate. For the longest time, because I didn't have those credentials, I didn't think that I could really amount to anything. I am a hard worker. I knew that I would work hard, I'd probably save, have a good job, that sort of thing. But to create multiple multimillion dollar businesses and to be able to impact hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, and to be able to build my own financial wealth and security before I was 40, there are things that... Again, I'm not saying to brag, I'm just saying it's because I surrounded myself with the right people. I looked for mentors. I realized that I couldn't do it on my own. I sought the knowledge. I'm an avid reader. I attend seminars. I belong to a mastermind. I listened to podcasts.
Suzi Dafnis: For me, knowledge has been the big key that unlocked that. So anytime I would get stuck, I would go, "Okay, who knows how to do this, who I could reach out to?" And I have always reached out, whether it's to an advisory board or a mentor or an expert or buying a course or whatever it is. "What context do I have that could help me open that door?" And so for me, my connections are really gold; the people that I've met over the years. And like you said, it's not a matter of, "Who can I tap on the shoulder?" It's like, "Who have I contributed to who might also want to contribute to me?"
Suzi Dafnis: But the challenge is, there have been exchange rates changing because we were selling goods internationally. We had a tour in the US four weeks after 9/11. I was there on my own. When the towers came down, I was petrified. I'd lock myself in the apartment I was staying in, because you didn't know if the world was exploding outside. It was just so unbelievable. Four weeks later, we were meant to be in New York City putting on an event for a couple of thousand people. And we thought, "That's not going to work." People are devastated. And so we thought, "What are we going to do?" Because our income relied on us doing these events around the country, that was our revenue. It was at those events we would sell tickets to the events and then we would always sell merchandise and we would sell high price ticket events on the backend.
Suzi Dafnis: We were within our first year of having a business in the US, and we were just going to be leveled. What ended up happening... Again, this is just about courage and communication. We reached out to people and said, "Hey, we know this part of the..." The country's just in shock and in grief right now. And people wrote to us, hundreds of people wrote to us and said, "Please come, we need something positive." And so we showed up, it was a solemn affair, but we did it. But that could have derailed us.
Suzi Dafnis: The lesson was courage. It's like checking in, having a mission that's bigger than yourself. I think for me, that's really what's gotten me through this. It's like, "Why am I doing this?" Everything I've done has obviously served me in some way, the good, the bad, and the ugly." But it's really for me around having a mission that is bigger than you. For me, the more I contribute the richer I feel. That's the truth.
Suzi Dafnis: I remember Robert Kiyosaki (on one of his trips to Australia) said to me, "You know what's wrong with you, Suzi?" He said, "You're not money-driven, you're mission-driven." And he wasn't saying that was a problem. But as someone who... for him, money is very much a driver of what he does, and he also has a huge mission. What he was saying to me is like, "Just know yourself." It's like, "You will never do it for the money. You just need to know that for you, you need to have a mission that you're really passionate about, because that's what drives you." I think he hit it right on the head.
Jeff Bullas: So what's Suzi's mission?
Suzi Dafnis: For me, it is really around women and helping women reach their full potential in business. That is my mission. Whether I do that through my podcasts or the webinars we do, or our mastermind, or an article, or being here on an interview with you, if I can inspire one woman to know that even if she doesn't have all the context and all the skills or the knowledge or all the connections, or the know-how right now, that if she creates a vision that really inspires her, and she surrounds herself with the right people, and she takes action, then she will get there. It sounds really altruistic, I know, but I truly believe it. Because I've gone places that I never imagined I would, and it was really through going, "Where do I want to go? How do I get there? What do I know? Who do I know? Am I taking action?" Nothing happens until something happens. Sometimes you can take the wrong steps, sometimes it's going to be the right step, but if we're not in motion, then nothing happens. That's my belief.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, I totally agree with you there. For me, having a passionate purpose is absolutely vital. If I have to get up every morning and do something I hate, and I have to keep doing that, I can just see myself slowly dying inside.
Suzi Dafnis: I know you're interviewing me, but what's your purpose? What's your mission?
Jeff Bullas: My mission is how to help people win at business and life in a digital world. Because I think that it's not just about the money. It's actually how to win at life as well. The research shows that up to $75,000 a year... In other words, you've paid the rent, you got food on the table, it doesn't increase your happiness. Sure. It maybe a measure of success, but the reality is that we are not separate physical beings and mental beings and souls. We are one. For me, it's making sure... and sure we got to go and work hard. But I think for me, it's a holistic approach to life that’s] important. We live in a time and an age where we can do this, because we've got all the tools. Like the cost of software to do this today, to start a blog. I started with $10, you started with $400, there's not much difference between the two really. It's nothing, really.
Jeff Bullas: But what character sustained both of us, it was a passion of purpose. And that could be sometimes just getting food on the table, but then you go, "Well, how can I really make a difference on this planet?" You've run Pow Wow Events, and you've got to meet Robert Kiyosaki, work for him and do events in the US. You must feel quite privileged and grateful to have earned this right to actually do this.
Suzi Dafnis: Oh, okay. Hang on, hang on, hang on. I really say it's a partnership. I think that because he understands that business is a team sport, he always surrounded himself with people who brought different strengths. For me, the strength that he brought was just big thinking and so courageous and just went for it. For him the strengths we brought was systems, procedures, expertise, level headedness, predictability, dependability. I'm very big on collaboration. I've always done collaborations. I think that we showed up, that's how opportunities come to you.
Suzi Dafnis: We showed up in 1997 when Robert was releasing his board game in Singapore, and we had like five days to put it together. He said, "Hey, I created this board game. I'm going to be in Singapore if you and PJ want to come along and check it out. I hadn't seen him in a couple of years. And so we went to Singapore. After the day he was teaching using his board game, we were sitting in the bar, drinking beers and eating peanuts. He said, "I want to thank you guys so much for showing up." He said, "I think this could really work in Australia. Are you interested in doing a seminar like we did today in Australia?" We went, "Yeah." Do I feel blessed for that opportunity? Yes. Did we show up in the right place? Did we show our faith? Did we show the fact that we were willing to risk as well?
Suzi Dafnis: I really believe doors open to those that show courage. And inside of our community, we call it this, we call it 'showing up, speaking up and lifting up'. Showing up is to turn up to the places where you want to be known, liked, and trusted. Whatever that is, whether it's a network, an event, saying yes to an invitation. Speaking up is asking questions. It's putting yourself forward. It's letting yourself be known. Lifting up is supporting others. It's what you and I do. It's what we were talking about earlier.
Suzi Dafnis: Those three things create connection. It allows you to become known, liked, and trusted. And so I think whether it's my collaboration with Robert and Kim, and I'm forever grateful for the opportunity that opened up for us. To anyone that I've collaborated with over the years, which I am big on collaboration, you create those opportunities by showing up. You do not create them by being isolated and not reaching out to people.
Suzi Dafnis: I think that if there's anything that I'm imparting on our whole business community is that even if you're shy, even if you're introverted, which I am, and I think Jeff, you're probably an introvert to actually, it would be my guess; that we still can build a profile, we still can build businesses, we could still impact thousands of people. Because we have figured out how to be perhaps shy, be perhaps introverted, but still create connections.
Suzi Dafnis: I think that it's through my connections that opportunities always show up. I am forever grateful to all the mentors that I've had over the years and the opportunities that opened up. But I believe that everything I created was because I showed up, I took action. I took advice. I sought advice in all those things.
Jeff Bullas: I do love your description. That's really important. That's courage, which is stepping into the light despite feeling as if you're introverted. It's going, "Oh, I don't even listen to my voice on the podcast." I came across one of the... I was talking to Mel, she said, "Look, I don't even like listening to my voice." I went, "Okay." I totally get that.
Jeff Bullas: The other thing, now, I had early experience with Robert Kiyosaki. I never got to meet him, but one of my friends and mentors that got me into a business that actually in the end didn't work out. But what happened was, he went and did a course with Robert Kiyosaki. And from what I could work out, it was one of his early, early days. This is before Rich Dad. He ran these courses and you might be able to fill in the blanks on this, but these courses were about courage. He actually got people to go out into the city and survive.
Suzi Dafnis: Yes, I did that one. Yes.
Jeff Bullas: You did that one?
Suzi Dafnis: Yes.
Jeff Bullas: I would have known a little bit more about that because a friend of mine named Ian Clulow did this course. I can't remember what year it was. It must've been early 1990s, maybe. I don't know.
Suzi Dafnis: Before Rich Dad Poor Dad... These are personal development seminars. The early ’90s, the human potential movement was huge in the US, and here in Australia, there was a series of courses run by an organization called the Accelerated Learning Institute, of which Robert was one of the partners. They used what was then called accelerated learning to teach business and money and there was a series of courses. The entry level program was a program called Money and You, which is still around today. Robert hasn't been involved for 25 years. I don't even know what it's like now, but I did it in August, 1991.
Suzi Dafnis: The course was called Money and You but it was really about you. It taught business, it taught team work, it had lots of interactivity, and it was very high gradient. By that I mean that, there were lots of games and interactions, things that I hated doing that use lots of colored pens and flip charts. Anyway, they use music. These things seem normal now in events, but in those days it was weird. Like, "Why were they playing loud music?" And they were playing games and there was interaction.
Suzi Dafnis: The entry level course was Money and You. I remember it was a three and a half day program. And this is actually part of my story. I had saved up... A friend had recommended, someone I met through Virgin, just to go full circle. It was $750. And a girlfriend I had talked into going, and I was sitting in the car park with our $750 cash ready to walk in and had the money across. We looked at each other and went, "We could go to Melbourne, we could “so go” to Melbourne." and have a great time. We're going to give these people our 750 bucks."
Suzi Dafnis: Anyhow, I had promised this friend who was a mentor as well that I would go. We went, we handed our money. And three and a half days later, we had this experience with the Money and You program. The next morning, I was sitting at my kitchen table on my own thinking, "What just happened?" It was like my paradigm had totally changed. I had never learned things like this before. I was totally changed at a cellular level.
Suzi Dafnis: It was one of those things where you tell people about it and they think you've joined a cult. It was that kind of experience where you just change. So Money and You was the first of a number of courses. There was another one called Powerful Presentations, where you would learn about presenting and where I did my very first speaking from stage. There was one called Creating Wealth, which is the one where one of the activities was that you would be sent out in the street to fend for yourself.
Suzi Dafnis: Without going too much into their IP, which was their games, everything about these courses was so confronting, so confronting. For some people, it really worked and for other people, it just scared the heck out of them. They would change but not for all the good reasons. But for me, it worked.
Suzi Dafnis: After I did that first program, I started... I wasn't working. I was out of work. I was just back from traveling in Europe, like a lot of people in their 20s were doing. I went to the company and I said, "Hey, I'm not working at the moment. I would be happy to come and volunteer every Monday until I get a job if you want anything that I can do to help." They went, "Sure, come in." They had me doing some receptionist things and stuffing envelopes and whatever. I just passed my time, but I loved the course so much. I got so much from it that I started to volunteer.
Suzi Dafnis: We did a couple of weeks they're like, "Would you like to work here?" I was like, "Yes." And so it was through that process that I started to learn about events and I met Robert and Kim. When that business closed, that's the business that I got retrenched from, that's where I got my training on running events and where I met Robert. But I stayed in touch with Robert and Kim. Then a couple of years later, after all that ended, we started to work together.
Suzi Dafnis: Part of that story is that I took a risk. $750 was everything I had at that time, and I put it into knowledge and education and it totally paid off. I did it because someone I knew and liked and trusted recommended that I do that course. I did it and my life changed as a result in so many ways. I still have very good friends from that '91. So it's almost 30 years that I did that course.
Suzi Dafnis: But for me, knowledge is my highest value. I just didn't know that knowledge like that existed. Because all I knew was school. And one of the things was that when I was going to career counseling at school, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but I hated the whole school system. I didn't want to work for the government. Nothing wrong with working for the government, it's a safe, secure job, but I knew I like knowledge and learning. And I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but I just couldn't see myself in that system.
Suzi Dafnis: Move forward 10, 15, 20 years and I am a teacher. It just looks very different, but it's come from learning about other ways to create learning environments where people can really flourish. What is that speaks to the adult learner? What is that doesn't diminish?
Our learning environments have always been, whether it was with Pow Wow Events or now with HerBusiness, about collaboration and bringing out the best in people and using, whether it's music or color or engagement or collaboration or whatever it is to help people learn and grow. Now….we're exploring some things I haven't talked about for a long time
Jeff Bullas: Well, just to let you know, Suzi, that's my job; to actually try and find the real story behind the story. But you're right, we're both educators today. And guess where I started my career? I trained as a high school teacher.
Suzi Dafnis: Did you?
Jeff Bullas: Yes.
Suzi Dafnis: Ah, I didn't know that. Okay.
Jeff Bullas: So I trained as a high school teacher and I hated it. I was teaching information and knowledge that I thought was, in the most part, quite irrelevant. Students would come up to me going, "Mr. Bullas, why are we learning this?" and I couldn’t come up with a good answer.
Suzi Dafnis: What were you teaching?
Jeff Bullas: Because people that didn't want to learn, they're called teenagers. Now, I was teaching things like economics and accounting, which I hated. I did a first year of accounting, realized I was never going to be an accountant because I was good at numbers but I sucked at detail. And of course, as an accountant you need to be good at detail. So after five, six years of just hanging in there because, of course, you want your parents to be proud of you and again, if I leave teaching they will see me as a failure. Then I got into technology after I went and did some part time selling at night. I was earning more money doing part time selling at nights than I was at teaching. Welcome to being a teacher, it's shit money a lot of the time. The reality was I actually went and sold subliminal suggestion tapes to stop smoking.
Suzi Dafnis: Oh? Wow, okay.
Jeff Bullas: I was doing quite well and I went, "Okay, maybe I can sell." That made me go and take a little bit of a... It was five, six years. I moved to Sydney. I wanted to teach senior economics and see if that made a difference. It didn't at the end of the year, so I went out and did three career testing jobs for a few days. I went and tried real estate selling. And the guy I was put with for a few days was selling more photocopiers on the side and drinking at the pub more than he was actually selling. I went, "If this is real estate, it's not what I want to do." Because I could get very drunk very quickly and trip over a photocopier, at the same time.
Jeff Bullas: Then the other one was life insurance selling. That's where Tony Greg, the famous South African cricketer, he was the face behind one of the top life insurance companies in Australia at the time. I went and tried out with them for a few days and realized I had to be doing a lot of cold calling and selling. And as we both know, that's just such a bowl of fun; cold calling and door knocking.
Suzi Dafnis: Yes, especially for an introvert.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, rejection world. "Well, welcome to the rejection world." And then I went to a friend of mine who starting a technology company and I went, "This is cool. This looks like the future." That's when I left teaching for the tech industry.
Suzi Dafnis: Wow, very cool.
Jeff Bullas: But for me, I think the main thing that I really love today is when I discovered social media, this intersection of humanity and technology that allows us to reach the world without paying the gatekeepers. That's what excited me. That's a little bit about me, but that wasn't meant to happen really. It was more about you.
Suzi Dafnis: Oh, that's cool to learn about you. That's great. That's great. I like that you talk about social media being the combination of technology and humanity. Maybe that's why I like it, because I do like technology. I'm not in any way trained in technology, but I like to adopt technology early. I mean, especially right now, as we're recording, so many people are in isolation. Were it not for social media and staying connected through technology, I don't know what any of us would be doing. I know I'm very grateful for it. It just allows me to reach more people and stay connected, which is huge.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Now, I'm going to write something, just going quickly do a little retrace here. I asked you what was the inspiration to start your business? And you said survival. I'm going to beg to differ on that. I'm saying your original inspiration to start the business was Robert Kiyosaki, Money and You, that changed your mindset. That's what I heard. You got rewired, you said. I think that was maybe the foundational element that... Okay, you had to survive, but to hear you describe what you did with Robert in that Money and You course where you had to go out and survive, you had to find courage. And you brought up the word courage. I think Robert's course rewired Suzi.
Suzi Dafnis: It did, it rewired me. It took me from something to something. It really opened my eyes that education did not mean traditional education.
Jeff Bullas: That's right.
Suzi Dafnis: Once I got the idea of learning environments where people would flourish, that we're not a university or TAFE, or anything like that, I understood that I had some marketing chops, and I liked events and helping people learn. All the pieces started to fit together. My experience at Virgin started to fit. Like I said, we took on that model of a music label rather than other events companies, and that helped create our viability. All those influences mattered and putting them together in the right jigsaw formation.
Suzi Dafnis: I remember doing one of the courses in that series, it was a 16 day business school in Hawaii. And it was treacherous. I went across my 20s knowing nothing about business. It was, I don't know, a couple of hundred people learning about business for 16 days, residential in Hawaii and you get one day off. How crappy is that? You're working from dawn to very late at night, and each day was a different business topic. I was so overwhelmed. It was so above my head. But I did make the decision at that point that, "I think I want to run my own business. I don't know how I'm going to do it. I don't know that I'm smart enough. I don't know anybody. I don't have any money. I'm sure I need a degree or something." But something had been ignited in me, and that I wanted to do something for myself.
Suzi Dafnis: Now, I thought it might look like marketing consulting or consulting around events. I didn't know it would look like offices in three countries and 45 staff. I didn't know it'd look like a large national network for women business owners, where we are doing the very first... We're talking about the other day. We did the first ever online mentoring program for women business owners, which the government gave us a grant for in 2007, or being one of the very first female podcasters. All these little things.
Suzi Dafnis: It's like Steve Jobs said, it's like you can't... What did he say? You might know the saying better than me. It's that you can't join the dots forward, you can only join them going backward. But you can see how things all fit together. Who I am today, with the years of experience, partly predicting because obviously we created, we create our reality, but also it's like, you don't always know. I don't know what might come out of this interview, this opportunity. There's something that I said yes to that might make an impact on me tomorrow. I think opening ourselves up to opportunities, saying yes to invitations can lead to so many places, but you don't always know where it's going to go. I'm just so grateful for the opportunity.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, we don't know. I truly believe that what you're meant to be doing on this planet, I think everyone's mission in life is to discover their mission in life.
Suzi Dafnis: Yes, correct.
Jeff Bullas: I truly believe that. All of us are geniuses. And I'm not talking about the Albert Einstein type genius. I'm talking about, we all have special gifts. For me, what I've discovered about passionate purposes, passionate purpose isn't a singularity. It's actually multilayered. It's the intersection of your experience, which is a matrix of all the things you've described for yourself. It's your innate ability. In other words, we all got different innate abilities. And there's a great quote I came across, "When I grow up I want to be me." There's a lot of us told to be someone else. But to have that intersection of innate ability, experience, and what you love doing, and then actually acting on that.
Jeff Bullas: That's where the passionate purpose... It only took me 50 odd years to discover that. I was lost in the wilderness for a long time, but I didn't know that what I was doing was leading me to the promised land. It's when I discovered social media and a couple of books, Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, The New Rules of Market and PR by David Meerman Scott. There's something you mentioned that you don't know where everything's going to lead to.
Jeff Bullas: I came across a quote, I don't know where it's from, but it's worth saying, it was more like, when you're in the middle of chaos, when things just look like they're turning to shit around you, that everything looks like it's just horrible. It's just this chaotic time in your life. And it's made up of many things; might be a marriage breakup, might be a business folding, it might be a health issue. But when you look back years later, you realize that it's like a movie script, it was written for you. And when you look back, you see the patterns. But when in the middle of it, it just looks like a chaotic mess.
Jeff Bullas: I think we've all got to remind ourselves that this human condition called life is going to bring us many experiences, and it's not going to be a bed of roses. Heaven's not going to be here every day. In fact, sometimes we're good, as humans, of turning heaven to hell and hell into heaven. The reality is that we are on this planet as human beings, trying to discover what our mission is and our passionate purpose. I've so enjoyed watching what you've done over the years from Pow Wow to what you started recently.
Jeff Bullas: I think that's a perfect segue to... Let's move to Pow Wow. So you left Pow Wow, so what happened there? That was in 2007. You made a successful business, you went to-
Suzi Dafnis: I sold that business in 2007. We're talking a long time ago. This is a long part of my history, but an important part of my history. Sold the business, I had been living in the US, came back and I had... On the side, if you like, I'd been running an organization called the Australian Business Women's Network, which was an association style organization that ran monthly events in mostly Sydney and Melbourne, cafes, guest speakers, that type of thing. I had the choice to not do anything or do whatever I wanted. My partner, PJ, really wanted to focus on our real estate investing. That's where his passion was. I decided all I wanted to do was continue to work with women business owners. But it was right at that time where technology had really, really changed. So this is 2007.
Suzi Dafnis: What I decided to do was take this association style organization and make it an online community for women business owners, so that whether you lived in Outback Australia, whether you are in regional, rural, urban areas, you can still get access to experts, mentors, good information. And so we started to adopt technology. We did our very first webinar in 2006, actually, so even before we sold that business. Which people didn't know what a webinar was, people would ring and go, "I don't know where to go."
Suzi Dafnis: In 2007, we developed the first ever online mentoring program, which would connect mentors and mentees from all over Australia. Now, this is a long time ago. This is what I mean is, we've always been very good at adopting new technology very, very quickly for the purpose of education. But sometimes you can be too early to market.
Jeff Bullas: Yes, you can.
Suzi Dafnis: And the market isn't ready. Like right now, everyone is zooming their butts off because they know what Zoom is. But we've been doing online training forever in the day, but you can be a little early to market. You probably know that with your own experience. And so for me, I turned what was already my passion for education, and I just started to focus it in on women in business. We started to develop online courses and our online mentoring program. We had an award-winning blog for a number of years where we had 20 contributors, all of whom were business women contributing to the blog. I've had a podcast for, I don't know, seven years now, et cetera.
Suzi Dafnis: For me, it was about creating this community for women business owners. And there's paid levels and free levels. As you mentioned, there's a lot we do for free. But it was just about making alternative education available to women business owners, for the specific purpose of allowing them to take what might be a passion or a side hustle, a word that wasn't around 10 years ago or 15 years ago, and really taking that and making it a scalable business. Because I had seen too many women start a business and then the business fail, because they were just trying to do it on their own. And as business owners, it really is all up to us, but we don't have to do it on our own. And that was the difference, is that for me it was, "How do I get women to work together?" How do I get them to collaborate? How do I get them to introduce themselves to each other??
Suzi Dafnis: For me, the last 13 years since I sold Pow Wow, I've committed to this organization, which used to be called the Australian Business Women's Network, which we changed the name of a few years ago to HerBusiness. This is my main gig, and we have a real estate business as well, where we invest in real estate. They're my two main things. I spend a lot of time traveling when I'm allowed to travel when the planes are flying. But that's me.
Jeff Bullas: This is really interesting, actually, especially at this point in time. So you've gone from running a real physical event style business.
Suzi Dafnis: In-person, yes, to online.
Jeff Bullas: In-person. And my ex-partner, she ran events. I know how complicated this is. I've seen 30-page spreadsheets. And so I do know how tough the gig is of running events. The financial side, the investment needed is a risk..
Suzi Dafnis: High risk, really high risk.
Jeff Bullas: It is huge risk. By watching up-close and personal, I realized I didn't want to do that. Now you've actually moved into much more virtual digital business.
Suzi Dafnis: Thirteen years ago we moved into digital business. I decided that we would stop doing these monthly events. And we thought the only way we're going to crack this online thing is till we stopped doing in-person. From 2007 till five years ago, was that 2015? We didn't know in-person events, we just did online. That's how we cracked that code. Then we started to reintroduce in-person, because I wanted to. So some of our more advanced programs have a combination of both online and offline components. But we've done hundreds and hundreds, literally, of webinars, which are part of our library for our members, and hundreds of podcasts. And so we've been online for a long time.
Suzi Dafnis: Again, when you see people now scrambling to get online, that's where we can help them, but I feel for them because they have to turn things around very, very quickly. But we've also had a dispersed workforce for over 10 years. We have people in the Philippines and in the US and we have a team in Australia, but we've always adopted, whether it's Google or whether it's Slack or whether it's Zoom or whether it's using online portals to communicate and collaborate with our team members and with our customers. It's something we've done for a very long time.
Suzi Dafnis: This transition to a period of time right now, as we're recording where the world is on a shutdown and people are having to take their offline businesses online, one of the things I've been able to help is helping the woman who does in-person color styling workshops to do that online, or the person who has the physio, to how do we now consult online? Or the woman who is a physical trainer to how do you see those clients now online and develop online programs that still allow people to get the results? And even when we go back to more in-person stuff, they're still going to remember you as the person that was there for them during this time where they couldn't do things face-to-face. So there's great benefits to live events, and we will always now incorporate them as part of what we do. But our primary strength is in what we do online.
Jeff Bullas: And then the great thing about online is you actually can scale it. You've got access to the world. That's what excited me in 2008, I went, "Well, I actually I can reach the world." I went, "Okay, I'm not even going to act like I'm Australian." Actually, I decided that I'd act an American because I was writing, but I actually used American English because I want to make sure that they understood me.
Suzi Dafnis: Ah, that's a good point.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, because I wanted the Americans to think that I was American because I wanted to get into the USA in stealth mode, which I did. I'd turn up at physical events in America, they go, "I thought you're American." And went, "Well, I'm a global citizen, really." That's the reality. Just for all the American listeners, sorry, I actually misled you for a few years, but that's okay. Now, you mentioned books are actually a great resource for you. What are two or three books that have changed your life or inspired you?
Suzi Dafnis: Definitely Rich Dad's Cashflow Quadrant, which is actually the second book in the Rich Dad series. Once a huge eye-opener for me, that is getting the distinction between solopreneur... that's not Robert's language, but between being a self-employed, he calls it, and a business owner and just the difference in those. So the Cashflow Quadrant. Anything by Seth Godin, all of Seth Godin's books have been really, really important to me. The E Myth by Michael Gerber, which is now I think 30 years old.
Suzi Dafnis: But yeah, books continue to be my... Just here today, I'm reading. This is a pre-version of a book that's just coming out this week that I'm reading today because I'm interviewing the author tomorrow. Books continue to be, to me, teachers; whether listening to them or reading them in print. Yeah
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, for me books have been one of my major mentors. Luckily, I discovered and fell in love with reading when I was about five when I read the book, The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat, Dick And Dora. I think I became the librarian's best friend at lunchtime in my school.
Jeff Bullas: I'd like to know if you're willing to reveal a little bit about what's Suzi's daily routine look like. What's her morning routine? That's the science side of being productive.
Suzi Dafnis: My morning routine is pretty simple and pretty consistent, when I'm not traveling I'm usually up early. I'm usually up before seven, sometimes much earlier, but generally before seven. I'll come down, I'll make myself coffee. My preferred coffee at the moment is a decaf Piccolo with coconut milk. I'll take that and I'll come and sit at this very table, but on that side of it, and I will journal.
Suzi Dafnis: I'll journal for anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes. That is just free for whatever garb is in here, just coming out, non-edited. Sometimes it's constructive, sometimes it's just a download, sometimes it's reflective, sometimes I'm asking a question and letting me see what my intuition is saying. And then from there, I'll grab a spot of breakfast. I'll quick check my social media and I will head to the office.
Suzi Dafnis: The other thing that keeps me productive is that I have a pretty predictable diet. Most of the week, 90% of the time, I'm 90% paleo. That is just my way that I've eaten for 10 years now. I exercise and I have been training with CrossFit for over 10 years now. Right now my gym is closed, but I'm doing at-home workouts three times a week, and I tend to run at least once a week, usually on the weekend. They're myself maintenance, and then there's girly things like hair and nails and massage. But there's certain things that are part of my staying well at all levels. I also like to study, so I'm always either reading a book or listening to a podcast, I'm always studying. So that's part of my routines and habits too.
Jeff Bullas: Well, I'm intrigued by this because I went and spent nearly three months on the road last year, traveling through Europe as a digital nomad to see how that went. I realized that I miss the routine. I really miss routine. And you mentioned that, yes, your routine except when you're traveling. I just find constant travel just disrupts the routine. For me, morning routine's important too. And that's at every aspect of being human. I meditate. I exercise, kettlebell swings. I'm a road cyclist warrior. Yes, I'm a middle aged man in Lycra. I love reading. It's a good coffee, a good morning walk, a walk in the gloaming at the end of the day to watch the sunset. That brings joy to my soul, as well as keeps the blood moving.
Jeff Bullas: Now, one last question and finish. I know your time's important. This is a question I came up with yesterday, not just for you, but I'm going to keep asking this in various forms. How do you define success today in 2020? So how do Suzi define success? What does success look like for her?
Suzi Dafnis: For me it is not just in 2020, but it probably has been for at least the last 10 years since I sold my business. Because at the end, when we did sell the business, I wasn't really, really good. I was doing what I loved, but I didn't have a whole lot of balance. For me, it's doing what I want when I want with whom I want. That is happiness for me. I am in a very fortunate position that I can do that.
Suzi Dafnis: Now, do I still work myself to the bone most days? Yes, it's just my nature. Am I doing what I love every day? Yes. Am I doing it with people I love? Yes. Am I working with my ideal clients? Yes. For me, that is all success.
Suzi Dafnis: For me, as I said, it was very important to both PJ and I when we were on full tilt with our previous business that we were very smart about our money and that we did invest our money, so that if we didn't want to work we didn't have to. We were in that position. But before PJ was 40, I was thirty... well, it was before he was 40 because I was 35, when we were in a position that our investments could take care of us if we chose to never work again. And yet we both work and we really love to work and we will probably always work, but we don't have the added stress of feeling that we have to work in order to pay the bills.
Suzi Dafnis: For me, one of my big lessons that I like to teach business owners is that some of that income, you've got to put it somewhere whether it's going to be there for you tomorrow. Because for me, having taken that pressure off... and still we have investments, so there's always money pressures. There's interest rates, there's tenants who cannot pay or go out of business or whatever. I'm not saying it's all perfect, but for me, success is feeling solid and not at risk in my business. But it's mostly about doing what I love with whom I love. I do what I love every single day.
Jeff Bullas: That's correct. I think being truly passionate and on purpose is really important if you want to have a life full of joy, and I suppose contentment as well. Now, just before we finish, I want to ask you, what are three things that you could share with my listeners that you've learned from being an entrepreneur? What are the three most important things that people can take away from having this fireside chat with you, Suzi?
Suzi Dafnis: I think we've touched on this one a little bit in this interview already, but that is really finding what lights you up, finding that vision for what it is that you want to contribute through the work that you do as a business owner. It could be that what lights you up is providing for your family. It could have a social impact. It could be monetary. It doesn't matter if it's fame, or fortune, or whatever it is, but being very clear on what the vision is for you, because that's what's going to keep you going when things go like this, which they tend to do in business. So creating a vision. For me, it's been about creating a vision that is bigger than just my own interests.
Suzi Dafnis: The other thing that I would have you take away is just really taking on board that business is a team sport. Now, that doesn't mean you have to have a whole lot of staff. But I count graphic designers, bookkeepers, web people, mentors, they're all part of your team. Because as a business owner, you're going to be responsible for that business and you have to care about it probably more than anyone else ever will. But you don't have to do it on your own. They're probably my top two things.
Jeff Bullas: You mentioned about scale.
Suzi Dafnis: Yes. For me to be in business in the long-term, I really think that you need to know what sort of business you want to have and be really clear. Do you want to be a solopreneur and you're not going to be pushed into doing anything else by anyone else other than their ideal of a business? So it's really about having your ideal business. Or do you want a small team? In which case, start figuring that out? What are the roles? What are the responsibilities? What is your key role in the business? Or if you want that really big, scalable, multimillion dollar, many people business with processes and systems that allow you to not be involved in the day-to-day, then get clear on that. Each one of them is going to be its own learning path. But you want to be clear.
Suzi Dafnis: One of the things that I find is that sometimes we are told by society or by what someone else thinks an ideal business looks like. Now you need to decide what that ideal business is for you. It just has to work for you. It doesn't have to work for me. It doesn't have to work for Jeff. It doesn't have to work for your brother-in-law, your sister-in-law. It just needs to work for you. So figure out what is your ideal business and go ahead and make that happen.
Jeff Bullas: Great. Thank you very much for sharing that. Before we wind up, Suzi, it's been an absolute pleasure to chat to you and maybe find some things about you that I never knew. You haven't shared for a while, I think. I've just loved being able to have this chat with you and fireside chat that really discovers a real human aspect of Suzi that I really haven't got to know actually until today. How do I find HerBusiness and Suzi Dafnis? If people want to find you and want to find HerBusiness, how can they find you?
Suzi Dafnis: Herbusiness.com is our website. You can always register there for any of our upcoming events. We do a lot of things free. Suzi Dafnis is S-U-Z-I D-A-F-N-I-S, if you just search that you will find a few things about me. It's the name I go under on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Instagram, and all those things. But herbusiness.com is probably the best place if you're looking for the most collaborative, most supportive community for women business owners, that's where you can find us.
Jeff Bullas: Great. Thanks, Suzi. It's been an absolute pleasure.
Suzi Dafnis: Thank you.
Jeff Bullas: And look forward to catching up in real life soon when we can escape this lockdown.
Suzi Dafnis: When we can. Thank you, Jeff. Thanks so much.
Jeff Bullas: Thank you.
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