Friday, April 26, 2013

#LiveAspireBlog #2 + How Alison Morgan & Connie Chapman build and grow their online businesses

Can you believe that we are already 1/3 through the second quarter of 2013? Unbelievable. After a shitty 2012, I am determined in making 2013 a better one and hoping to cross out at least 70% of my lists of goals by the end of this year..

Hence, spending an entire Sunday with a bunch of inspiring women, churning out random ideas and connecting random dots together over martini is exactly what I needed after my pretty damn hectic weekend which started since Thursday. (More on that in my next #ThroughBeautyEyesSocialDiaries wrap up).

That being said, I attended the second #LiveAspireBlog event at IKU WholeFoods in Darlinghurst.
(You can read about the first #LiveAspireBlog event HERE)
As opposed to merely just a networking meet up, the second #LiveAspireBlog was even better with inspiring speeches from Alison Morgan, the Director of Relauncher, an Australian destination that encompasses all areas of the expanding health, beauty and wellness industries and Connie Chapman, a certified Life Coach on how they build and their grow their online businesses.

Here are a few takeaways from the amazing ladies for those of you who have missed it (because I am awesome like this :P):


It wasn't an overnight success for both Alison and Connie. They were once amateur too. They are where they are today through hard work, dedication and passionate about what they do. 

"If someone tells you it is easy, RUN" an epic quote from Jack Delosa

See what these successful entrepreneurs have in common? YOU JUST GOTTA FUCKING WORK FOR IT! #period

Alison Morgan


Just because you have a million-dollar business plan, if you aren’t flexible, it is not going to work. With the dynamic and everchanging business environment, you need to be able to adapt and follow your heart. Alison’s business today is a complete 180degrees change from her original business plan.


Always strive to provide great customer services, connect with your readers and customers and listen to what they want. Isn’t that what the whole new media/ digital marketing is all about? You really have no excuses not to engage with your customers. Fun fact, a substantial portion of Relauncher’s sales is made through Instagram.

Connie Chapman


There will never be the “right” time for you to quit your comfortable 9-5 job and be your own boss. It’s all about taking chances. If consistent income is your main concern, take up a casual or part time job as your safety blanket! “You will never arrive”, said Connie.


If you are sharing your new ideas/ light bulb moments with a co-worker who’s happy with his/ her 9-5 corporate job and has no interest in entrepreneurship, chances are – your potentially great idea Is probably going to get shut down.

Damn straight, sista! In this recent post, I vowed to get rid of the negative people in my lives and surround myself around with more inspiring people and it is going great so far! TRUST ME, it really helps when you’re feeling unmotivated and on the verge of giving up!  I have taken my first steps by being part of #LiveAspireBlog and also dedicated an entire Saturday to The Entourage Unconvention to learn more about entrepreneurship. I hope you have taken your first step out of your comfort zone too! If you are naturally shy or getting butterflies, Katherine from Through My Looking Glass has some pretty good tips for you on how to network #likeaboss

Jess from LiveHealthySimply, Connie Chapman, Alison Morgan & Ursula from The Aspirer.
Thank you for yet another inspiring and lovely weekend ladies!!! 
I am already looking forward to the next event! 

Looking to more of these networking events in Sydney but you missed out on the first two due to commitments? Fret not! Jess & Ursula had release the  #LiveAspireBlog dates for the remaining of the year!

The dates are: 26th May, 30th June, 11th August, 22nd September and 24th November

 Start bookmarking your diary now just so you aren't missing out! 

PS: Remember how I said my enthusiasm for make up isn’t as strong as before? Well, I lied. I got myself a few goodies during Priceline 40% cosmetics sales! (More on that in the next post :P) 

Hope you had some useful takeaway from this wrap up of mine!

(Having to go back to work after a Thursday public holiday is just plain cruel.)




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

#LOVE LIST #5: Beauty Edition

Since the beauty component of this blog has been MIA-ing quite a bit as or late, I thought I'd dedicate a Love List for the beauty products I'm currently loving!

I have been sent a few products at the start of the year (can you believe we are already in the second quarter of the year?!?) and finally got the chance to try them out and these are the ones that I'm diggin' at the moment!

Illamasqua Speckled Nail Polish in Fragile - A gorgeous Tiffany blue WITH speckles! That means you don't have to go through the hassle of applying 5 coats (2 for the base colour, 2 for the glitter AND top coat)! I was wearing this nail polish during my short trip back to Malaysia - and one of Mum's friend was IN LOVE with this nail polish. Lucky her, I brought it with me. =P

Wearing Katie and Ambition here 
Illamasqua Blush Duo in Katie and Ambition - Ambition is a mauve coloured blush with tiny bits of glitters whereas Katie is a matte baby pink blush. Ambition is a great colour on its own - it gives ithat gorgeous flush (somewhere between bronze and coral) within being to over the top; Katie, on the other hand, is a tad too pale for my skin to wear on its own! 

A CLOSE UP of the blush combination :)
However, Katie is the perfect shade to mattify Ambition if I am feeling a no-glitter kinda day! This Blush Duo has been my everyday blush during my short Malaysia trip during Easter! 

Models Prefer Lust Lipstick in Cupcake - Another new found love of mine - this coral lippie with extremely moisturising formula is surprisingly pigmented and long-lasting. It reminds me a lot of Revlon's Lip Butter in Trutti Frutti (reviewed HERE). The best thing is? It's only $11.99 a pop. Gotta love me some good cheapie lippie! 

Benefit FAKE UP Concealer - You might have came across this product on Through Beauty Eyes from my Social Diaries #2 updates (Remember the topless butler? Yes, THAT) I finally get around to trying this and my FAKE UP cherry was popped after a long haul flight. Needless to say, I was hooked since then and FAKE UP has definitely made its way to claim the HG concealer spot. LATERS, dry undereyes! However, if you're looking for a full coverage concealer - this might not be the man (or lady) for you as the formula is pretty sheer (due to its moisturising nature I suppose). I do get the desirable concealing I am looking for by applying a couple of layers. Make sure you try it out at your nearest Benefit counter before doing any purchase! A quick tip I learnt from the #FakeUpevent is to apply this concealer in a "V shape" on your undereye and blend it upwards using your ring finger

URIAGE Thermal Water for sensitive skin - This baby was a life savior during my short trip to Malaysia - a couple of pump of this thermal water in the hot and humid weather is one of my simple pleasures in life! So refreshing, so good. URIAGE Eau Thermal is still saving my life skin now that I am back in Sydney. With the change in weather - my skin has been PMS-ing like a bitch. Ridiculously dry and rashes poppin' up left right centre (quite literally). I try to spray this every half an hour or so to replenish my skin with some water it desperately needs. LOVE! 

Hope you enjoyed this my love list and quick reviews this week. J

Have you tried any of these products?
What are on your love list this week and did any of the above products make it into your list?


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Entourage Young Entrepreneurs' Unconvention Wrap Up (Part 1) - Jack Delosa on Entrepreneurial Success!

"99% of success is about showing up"

Once again, I got a little carried away on my usual Friday night shenanigans and was just a wee bit tempted to skip The Unconvention by The Entourage on Saturday. I am quite a morning person but a 9am start on a Saturday with tonnes of accumulated sleep debt can be quite a mission, ya know. 
But HEY, I am another step closer to success since I did show up. :P

On a serious note though, I am SO glad I did as I walked out of the convention with a highly information-saturated brain, feeling inspired and motivated with a few ideas popping up in my head. Definitely the kick I needed to achieve my 2013 goals. :) 

So, just a little background of The Entourage - which I came across by accident via one of the Facebook groups I joined. 

The Entourage is Australia's largest group of real entrepreneurs and executives under 40, which provides a place for entrepreneurs, high-growth business and executives to network, connects Australia's best entrepreneurs with Australia's next entrepreneurs and offers real business education by people with "been there done that" experience.

The Young Entrepreneurs' Unconvention is the largest event for entrepreneurs under 40 (also known as Gen - Y entrepreneurs) in Australia with leading speakers like Jack Delosa (founder of The Entourage), Petar Lackovic (Entrepreneur & Business Coach who generated half a billion in sales for his clients) and Katherine Sampson (Founder of Australia's largest sandwich franchise - Healthy Habits). 

Jack Delosa is the founder of The Entourage - a Gen Y Entrepreneur who has been named in Australia's Top 10 Entrepreneurs under 30 for 4 consecutive years. He is also named "The Young Aussie Millionaire That Didn't Finish Uni" by the Sunrise.

Please handover a blade so I can slit my wrist kthxbai.


SO, what does this down-to-earth bloke have gotta say about Entrepreneurship?



Talent is overrated, said Jack. You want to be successful - you just gotta work hard. There's no easy way. Period.
Whoever tells you it is going to be easy - RUN.


Jack cannot emphasise enough the importance of on - going learning and personal development. 
Ask yourself:

How much have you invested (both time and money) in learning in the last 3 years?
How much have you invested into professional and personal development?

*Just because the guy tells you he has 20 years experience doesn't mean he has 20 years worth of experience. It could probably just be the same experience, repeated 20 times.*

ALWAYS ALWAYS invest and dedicate time into learning.


Lets have a quick look at some stats from the 2012 Dun and Bradstreet Business Start-Up and Failures Report before Jack's Tips to Entrepreneurial Success:

1. Business bankruptcies have increased by 48% in the last 12 months alone.

2. The number of businesses starting has decreased by 98%.

3. Of the business that started between 2007 and 2009, one third have already failed.

What should you be doing (or shouldn't be doing) to make sure your business is not one of the ones that went bankrupt the ones that failed?



1. Lean Start Up

Discover quickly what works and what doesn't.

Jack's #1 rule to start up: To fail and fail fast.
Enter the market fast and find a viable business model before you run out of business funds.

Failure is not the main reason start ups failed - the inability to fail fast and find a viable & sustainable business model is.

2. Branding

Develop a brand that compels people to do business with you.

"When you establish a personal brand and business brand that is visible in the media, opportunity starts to find you"

3. Business Development

Create leveraged ways of generating business through strategic partnerships and leveraged PR/ media coverage.


- WHO is your complementary business/ partner?

So how do we identify a complementary business?

1) Where do my customers go BEFORE they buy my products?
2) Where do they go AFTER they buy my products?
3) Who services the same target market as I do but offers different products and/or services?

- WHAT is the compelling reason for this strategic partnership?

Always lead with what YOU can offer when it comes to establishing strategic partnership.

"If its not free, it has gotta be a SHIT HOT DEAL" 

- HOW to develop compelling offer to consumer that benefits both parties?

The Maccas and Disney partnerships which benefit both businesses over the years, from Happy Meal deals to setting up McDonalds at Disneyland theme parks.

Always remember: 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

4. Online Strategy.

Aim for market leadership online.

That translates to drive more traffic to your website and convert more traffic on your website.

Everything is possible on the internet in today's world - all you need leverage the web technologies to build strong relationships online. 

5. Management.

Implement efficient management that enables growth and this could be done via centralised systemisation

Centralised systemisation ensures that the operations are synchronised across the business, employees have clear instructions and understanding on tasks they are required to perform and most importantly, to maximise efficiency. 

According to Jack, The Entourage systemised almost everything - from operations manuals to reporting and letter templates to the EXACT direction to the nearest post office. I shit you not.  

"Everything that happens twice, we systemised" 
- Jack Delosa on centralised systemisation of The Entourage - 

6. Capital Raising and Acquisitions. 

Know how to raise funds for your business and acquire other business (when the opportunity arises).


Only 1 succeed out of every 4,000 businesses that tried to raise capital.

Many would put the blame on "insufficient funds in the Land Down Under" when it comes to failure to raise capital but really, the #1 barrier to raising capital drills down to not finding the right opportunity and entrepreneurs are often not prepared when the doors open.

Entrepreneurs should ALWAYS be prepared with the answers to these THREE QUESTIONS ON EVERY INVESTOR'S MIND:

1) Will I lose my money?

The investors want to know if you have a solid foundation and business model. What's the concept of your business? Do you have any proof to back these up? Who's driving the business? Do you have a mentor to guide and coach you?

2) When wil I get my money back?

The investors want to know if you have a clear and defined exit strategy which will guarantee their return. What's the timeline/ lifecycle of the business?

3) Will I make money?

The investors want to know if there's any growth opportunity within the business. What are the milestones achieved to date and how likely will the investor make a return? Is the projected future real and realistic?

If you have got these questions covered, your success rate will definitely be higher the next time you meet your potential investor(s). 


Why should I acquire another business when I am planning to sell my business in the short term anyways? One may ask.

According to Jack, the valuation of an average business sold is 2X its profit

For example:
A business is worth $200k, you bought it for $400k and sold it for $800k. You made an arbitrage profit of $400k. 

Such arbitrage profit seems so much more straight forward compared to all the arbitrage profits made through shares and stocks (per my finance textbooks), don't you reckon? 

7. Exit Strategy.

Build significant value (via acquisitions) and sell for the highest possible price. 

"#1 difference between a good and a great company - the leaders of great companies have LONG TERM perspective"

A great business with long term perspective will think of an exit plan at an initial stage.

Whilst you weren't expected to think of selling your business before it is launched but an exit strategy should definitely be included in your business planning as it might potentially affect your business model.

There you go ladies and gets, lot's of information consumption there. I hope you managed to have some takeaway here - just like I did and feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions. Also - since sharing is caring, (pretty please) spread the love via the "Share" and "Tweet" buttons below.