Managing The Work/Life Balance with Abbey Cooke from She Means Business Events

‘GOOD stories get read, then get archived or used once, but more than likely they often get forgotten about…GREAT stories last a lifetime- any story, even an event, no matter how big or small should always take your guests on a journey’.

  1. What made you decide to start your own business?

I studied a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Human Resources at University for 4 years, and studied an Executive Certificate in Event Management.

I then established myself in the financial industry in a global role for 6 years, which is where I realised my passion and enthusiasm for event management.  I have managed complex logistical events spanning both the international and domestic market, across a variety of industries, which have showcased my superior event management skills and professional execution of events.

She Means Business Events (SMBE ~ officially launching in May 2017) was born from my desire to spend more time in South Australia, and my passion and love of bringing people together in the one space and creating memories!

 I have a keen eye for detail, complemented with perfectionism, which ensures a uniquely created SMBE event.  SMBE adds a modern and trendy spin on events for both our corporate and private clients which are flawlessly executed.

abbey
Abbey Cooke, Owner/Director ~ She Means Business Events

2. What/Who inspires you in life and work?

I have to admit I find it very hard to answer this question.  Inspiration is stimulation for the human mind to learn, create, achieve, and to give. I believe that all great accomplishments are a result of motivation, encouragement and are spawned by inspiration.

So, what inspires me to be successful, and why am I inspired? For some time, I’ve been following inspiring leaders, entrepreneurs, and business movers-and-shakers, and I’m still awed and amazed at how much there is out in the world to be inspired by! I’m happy to say that I am now constantly inspired by men and women who are 100 steps ahead of me, doing what I long to, in the way I long to do it, with authenticity, clarity, grace and power.

I am fortunate enough that I have been inspired and mentored by some wonderful people both domestically and internationally, the most influential and inspiring motto coming from my Adelaide based mentor which SMBE currently lives by…

Bite off more than you can chew, and then chew like buggery!”

3. How do you find the work/life balance and your Top 3 tips for balancing life and work?

If you’ve been sitting at your desk reading about SMBE, daydreaming about the glamorous life of owning your own events company, it’s time to wake up! Starting up any business can be brutal in this socioeconomic climate and to be successful you have to face reality – hard work, long days (and nights), and a whole lot of coffee and networking!

It’s not all doom and gloom though, once you’ve taken the leap and decided to start! Here are a few of my tips for managing and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

  • Step away from the email

At some point, almost everyone becomes addicted! For me, it started when I starting working for a global company. I wanted to be available 24/7 to my team who were located in multiple locations around the world.  My ‘new email’ alert would constantly sound throughout the day/night and my Inbox began to control my life. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine would confiscate my phone during our catch ups, that I truly realised that I was in fact an addict, and how much I was missing out on around me,

Would you believe that scientists have actually established a clear link between spending time on email and stress?  In other words, the more frequently we check our email, the more frazzled we feel!

  •  Just say ‘NO’!

In today’s fast-paced and caffeine-driven world, it seems like the need to say no is absent in most people. You can’t say no because you feel guilty, or people will judge you.

I understand your situation completely. Confession time? I used to say yes, all the time too because the thought of saying no literally crippled me.

Now, though, I regret the times when I failed to say no! Let’s face it saying yes to everyone is stressful, and it’s definitely not good for your mental, physical and spiritual health!

  •  Work smarter, not harder

There is a body of opinion that you should work more and sleep less. It often takes Margaret Thatcher as a role model: she only needed four hours sleep and look what she did to the country! These days they call it sleep hacking- training your mind and body to need less sleep. But that trend is all wrong!

Essentially, working smart means figuring out what your strengths are and building a network around you to build upon those, in order to reach goals in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

The more self-awareness you gain about your work strengths the more you find ways to work smarter, not harder and finally achieve the work /life balance you desire.

She Means Business Events

Emma Hack: Artist

Emma Hack is an Adelaide based, internationally known artist, who is known for her skill in the art of body painting, having painted celebrities, including singer; Gotye in his video for ‘Somebody that I used to know’, she is a truly talented artist. I had the pleasure of chatting with her in her newly renovated gallery, located on O’Connell street, here is what she shared with me:

What made you choose to become an artist?

I’ve always felt like an artist. But I ended up getting trained in hair and make-up. I was doing hair and makeup to earn a living, although I was using my artistic skills whenever possible, I have been body painting for 25 years. It wasn’t until 2002, which is when I had my first exhibition. I just decided that if I focused on my art I would be able to create what I wanted to create.

What inspires you and your art?

- Vintage fashion
– Nature
– Different cultures
– Other artists coming up with new ways of doing things
– Mixed mediums
– Different textures
– Techniques I used as a child (eg. pin pricking in year 2)

What are some of your stand-out career moments?

Stand-out career moments include; doing my first calender, my first exhibition, the moment I realised that I could actually sell my work; I had a stall at an art fair in 2008 and we had a line of people waiting to purchase a piece of my art (it was so humbling), creating the ‘crash car’ by painting 17 people and positioning them in a way to look like a car, having Joanne Gair, who painted Demi Moore for Vanity Fair, come to see my exhibition, and finally my having first exhibition in New York.

Advice for up and coming Artists?

- Practice as much as you can.

- Always be true to yourself and your vision.

- Have strong morals and ethics in the way you treat people.

- A successful career does not happen overnight!

- Stick with what you know and refine it.

- My Dad’s advice: Plan your work and work your plan (plan, assess, then go and do)

For more on Emma Hack click here

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Jodi Nash: South Australian Style Magazine

I recently did a Q&A with South Australian Style Magazine Editor; Jodi Nash, her story is one worth hearing and she is a testament to hard work equals success
 
What made you decide to start a magazine?
Coming from a freelance makeup, styling and photography background a opportunity came up to rebrand a magazine that I was freelancing for.I decided to give it a go and see what happened, it took off from there. There was also a huge gap in the market for a women’s publication in Adelaide. 
I was frustrated that I couldn’t visit the fashion stores that were promoted in the nationals so I made my own just for the local girls.
 
How did you get to where you are  now in your career? 
A lot of hard work starting with a great education. Working in Canada and America helped with experience on an international stage.
I studied visual art, photography, makeup and hair artistry straight from high school. I went to Uni during the day and did makeup classes at night. I worked for free for photographers for years assisting on set. I also taught modelling, catwalk and deportment. I got into fashion styling after Uni and coordinated and art directed a lot of catwalk shows over the years, even helping to launch the first Adelaide Fashion Festival in 2001.
I helped create a professional makeup school for budding makeup artists called Paint in 2004. 
I have always worked for myself as a freelancer or a consultant and found having a good skill set helped to gain lots of employment opportunities in all fashion fields.
 
What are the opportunities that have opened up for you as the editor of SA Style?
Meeting great people, working with celebrities and having fun putting fashion shoots together. 
 
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced within your career?
The publishing industry is full of deadlines and time constraints. I find that the hardest thing.
 
Any exciting plans ahead for you and/or SA Style?
It’s our 20th birthday next issue (December release) little did I know 5 years ago when I was planning the first issue on my kitchen table that we would be doing our 20th edition! 
 
What advice do you have or can you give to anyone wanting to get into a position similar to yours?
1) Up skill all the time and get jobs in the fashion industry wherever you can, even starting in a fashion retail store is great experience.
2) Build a solid skill set. The more strings to your bow the more employable you will be.
3) Work for people you are inspired by, and be loyal to those who gave you a start in the industry.
4) Professionalism, being polite and friendly, showing up, standing out from the crowd, dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s, will get you more places than an emailed resume ever will. 
5) The people you stomp on, on your way up will be the same people you meet on your way down, so don’t burn bridges.
6) Use your gut and do things you believe in. Be original and go your own way.
7) Success won’t happen overnight, but if you never take no for an answer, it will happen eventually. 
8) I have never given up an any project I started, see everything through to the end, it is an invaluable lesson.

Sarah Abbott: Sassafras Public Relations

What is your current position/job description?

Director at Sassafras Public Relations

 How did you get to the position you are in now?

I completed  a bachelor in Communications Studies and studied public relations at Tafe. I worked as an Account Director at Michels Warren and I was the Global PR Manager at Imagination Entertainment. I now run my own freelance PR Consultancy called; Sassafras PR.

 What are the opportunities that have opened up for you within this position?

 Opportunities are endless!  The chance to meet people running exciting businesses and launching sensational products is an adrenalin rush for me and then showcasing these brands to the world is my passion. Working with media is energising and exciting and there is never a dull moment!

 What advice do you have or can you give to young people who want to get into a position similar to yours?

Just simply; do as much work experience as you can!