Standout Sri Lankans Q&A:

Lalitha Epaarachchi ~ Health & Fitness Coach and Youtuber

1. Tell us about yourself and your Business?

I’m a father, Health and Fitness Youtuber (Alpha lee fitness) & Online coach ( weight loss,  Muscle building and health & fitness lifestyle coaching)

Over the last 3 years I’ve built the largest online health and fitness community in Sri Lanka with 26,000 followers on instagram @lalitha_epaarachchi and 62,000 subscribers on Youtube, my Youtube channel alone has had over 3 million views in  just over an year. I’m proud to say that I have successfully hoisted myself to the top of the space with zero paper qualifications.

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The way my business works:

What I found out through the initial stages of my work was that there were plenty of influencers who are willing to share their lifestyle, expose their bodies, promote products without considering its impact and provide subjective information convincingly enough to make a sale or push a brand. This is a very lucrative method to earn on the short term but on the long term, in a space where you are dealing with people’s health and fitness it’s a naive, shortsighted method.

Based on this understanding, over time, I fine tuned my approach to:

  1. Delivering accurate information that has scientific evidence. I do this both in Sinhalese (youtube) and english (instagram)

  2. Promote a balanced lifestyle which the majority in Sri lankan’s can afford, emulate, still be healthy and fit and importantly keep building on.

  3. Work long term with brands. This is mainly because I noticed that most influencers worked with brands for a few weeks and moved onto another brand. Brand hoping is lucrative but damages your credibility as a product influencer which means in the longterm brands will not be paying you as much due to a lack of conversions. Engagement is meaningless without conversions – Your audience to Their customers. The 2 best examples from my brand portfolio are zimantra leisure center battaramulla and protein.lk. Both have become top brands in their space.

  4. Build my own paid service (online coaching). This is a service where I build training & nutrition plans for my clients. This was important because I wanted to make sure that brands could not pressure me into promoting anything I don’t like or agree with. If my income is covered through my own sweat equity, I would not have any reason whatsoever to con my audience by promoting products that i don’t believe in.

  1. Why did you decide to start your own business and What keeps you motivated.

I started making content on youtube and facebook while I was working as a software engineer. 3 weeks after I had my son I was very unfairly treated by my employer at that time. In brief, my employer accused me of not working well enough. That experience made me understand that as long as I work for someone else I will never truly be happy or appreciated regardless of how well I worked for them.

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I’m not a believer in motivation. If you need to be motivated to follow your passion i don’t think it is your passion to begin with.

  1. As a Sri Lankan influencer, how would you like to influence other Sri Lankan’s, as well as all others around the world?

I can’t fix the world with the work I’m doing but I firmly believe that I can change the health and fitness space for the better. With my work and approach to my work I hope I can influence more people to bring our space back out from vanity & drugs. In other words, I want to show people you can be honest, ordinary, average looking, earn and live a happy, peaceful life.

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VLOG: Bloggers United Australia ~ Adelaide Event

VLOG: Adelaide Fashion Festival Events

Throw That ‘Too Hard Basket’ Out and Start Achieving Your Goals

So that famous too hard basket, have you heard the saying? Well i reckon I hadn’t heard of it till I joined the workforce. And it’s made me think, why have we made it so easy to just throw something in the too hard basket, why should this be allowed, because really throwing something in the too hard basket actually means giving up or not doing something about something that needs doing.
I know for me I don’t really think about the too hard basket very often and I think there are 3 reasons for this:
1. I’m usually passionate about the things I think about doing so I’ll do whatever I can to not make it so hard to do.
2. I work on it slowly, do abit here and abit there so it doesn’t feel like I’m taking on a massive task all at once.
3. I don’t think of it as too hard. Our brains have so much power that the more we think something the more real it feels and the more we believe it.
So my lessons here are firstly if you really are passionate about doing something then take it on as a challenge, it’s not going to be easy but it doesn’t mean the idea needs to go in the too hard basket, it just needs a little TLC. Secondly, break your idea down into doable steps (Rome wasn’t built in a day..hey hey hey). And thirdly, I think this point is so important; don’t think of something as too hard, if you really want to do something, and it’s physically possible, then just put a little bit of time and work into it. Once you start working on it, it will become easier and easier!

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.

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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

Inside the Media Preview of Adelaide’s Newest Lush Store

I recently got to live the Lush life for one evening at the relaunch of the new Lush store in Rundle Mall…which I must mention is the biggest Lush store in Australia!

So, what do you ask is ‘the Lush life’? Well just imagine walking into a world filled with delicious scents, luxurious balms, scrubs, bars and bombs, smoothie making push-bikes and Lushy cocktails. Yes this was all apart of the Lush world at the media preview and grand opening.
I spent sometime walking around the store taking in the sights, smells, and textures and it made me think about how we experience the moment that we are in at any one time. Within my work as a counsellor I do a lot around mindfulness and being aware of thoughts, actions and your surroundings. Creating this sense of awareness can start from having a strong awareness of your body and the sensations we feel according to the different emotions we feel.
So how does Lush fit in with this concept,  well have you ever tried to be mindful? It’s not that easy to stay completely focused in any given moment but having something to motivate us to practice could help, so why not pick up a Lush massage bar or bath bomb and experience your moment for what it is while using this product. How much easier would it be to pay attention to your moment if you have the smells and lushness of any Lush product flooding through your mind….I don’t know about you but I feel relaxed just thinking about it!
Here are some pics and video of the Lush life…

Celebrating Girl About Town’s New Look

I recently attend a stylish soirée to celebrate Girl About Town PR’s new look, and it made me think….

What did it make me think about you ask? Well, it made me think about changes that we go through in life, new beginnings and how we deal with these. For a lot of us change is something we just don’t embrace, when we transition from different stages in life we tend to focus on what we are loosing rather than possible gains. So what if, instead of focusing on the not so great aspects of change, why not look at the part that might actually be for the better. I know it sounds a little cliché, but seriously why not just think about it, or even go one step further and write a list, list the gains and list the ‘not so gains’….this just may give you a reminder that it’s not all bad!

Now, back to the event, so Girl About Town (GAT) are definitely embracing change and looking at it in such a way that is showing us that everything in life goes through changes, whether we are talking about trends, businesses, people, families etc, we all go through different stages and different changes, how you work with it, and how you let it effect you is what matters, so lets all take a leaf out of the GAT book and celebrate it!

Here are some photos from their beautiful celebration held at the Mini Car Showroom

(Photo credit: Teo Magazine)

 (Godi La Vita)

Lush Blogger Event at Westfield Marion

It’s no secret that Lush is a favourite amongst many. It’s the perfect place to go when it’s time to pamper yourself because there are so many luxurious treats which are also affordable.

Until a couple of weeks ago, we only had one Adelaide store in Rundle Mall, but I’m so excited to announce that we now have another; located at Westfield Marion. I recently attended a blogger event to check out the store and all the beautiful things inside, they did not disappoint!

We were treated to hand massages using Lush massage bars, product making demonstrations (we were shown the making of the Lush cleanser ‘Angels on bare skin’ and much more.

I love that Lush are completely ethical, all ingredients are sourced ethically, they make sure that no animal testing occurs at any time in the process of making a product and all products are made fresh in Australia. Not only are the products amazing but the staff in store are all very helpful and knowledgeable about the products, so you can walk in there, tell them a bit about what you’re looking for and they will make sure that you leave with the right products for you.

What more could you ask for!

At the event I was treated to a hand massage using one of the very cool massage bars. They come in all different shapes and scents. They would make such a cute gift as well. I was also looking for a face mask so I had two tried on the backs of my hands and after hearing all about them and getting everyone to feel the difference the two had on my hands, I went with ‘Love Lettuce’, which I’m so happy with, and for only $13.95, it’s so affordable for a product that actually works.

Here are some photos from the event, let me know what you end up choosing after your next visit to Lush.

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Jewellery Launch: Of Dreamers and Dancers

Of Dreamers and Dancers is Adelaide’s newest luxury jewellery label and to celebrate the launch invited guests for treated to a preview of their first collection; Night Reign. Featuring both fine intricate and bold statement pieces, most have the option of gold, silver and rose gold, so there’s something to suit all jewellery lovers. Not only are the pieces beautiful but they are also of the very best quality,with some pieces dripping in Swarovski crystals.

 It’s so exciting that Of Dreamers and Dancers is Adelaide based, you may remember a recent Q&A I did with designer, Rebecca Minervini, she’s so lovely and it’s really cool to see local people doing great things…so inspiring!

Upon leaving the launch event we were gifted a candle, which was a beautiful collaboration piece between Of Dreamers and Dancers and Chloe Jane Candle Co. the scent of this candle is truly like no other, I highly recommend that you get your hands on one of these candles!

The ‘Night Reign’ collection is now online…happy shopping!

 Of Dreamers and Dancers