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Sometimes the Greatest Inspiration Comes From the Quietest People.

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Sometimes the Greatest Inspiration Comes From the Quietest People.

There are millions of amazing Small Business stories, so why can’t we hear them? I recently heard from some amazing business owners and was reminded that sometimes the greatest inspiration comes from the quietest people.

If I ever had any doubt about the power of Small Business to change the world (which I haven’t), it would have been well and truly dispelled during my recent 3-day visit to Sydney.  

My visit was to attend a 3-day media masterclass – learning how to pitch stories to journalists. We got to spend one-on-one time with some of Australia’s most respected journos, getting feedback on our well-practised pitches. 

As part of our preparation, all the participants got to practice their individual pitches on each other. The noise level was way beyond Workplace Health and Safety guidelines I’m sure as we all moved around the room practising – all at the same time. 

It was exhausting, and I think my ears were bleeding by the end of the practice sessions. Apart from having the opportunity to practice my pitch and get feedback from my fellow students, there was another benefit.

Persistence and motivation speak volumes.

I got to hear what 37 other motivated, persistent and all-round awesome Small Business owners were up to. Some were jaw-droppingly (that could be a made-up word, but it expresses what I felt), inspiring, some brought me to tears, and a couple made me feel positively inadequate. 

Let me share just a few:

  • Aaron from Your Fitness PT, 24 years old, was born with Cerebral Palsy and was told he would not live past his 20’s. He still has his illness, and it will eventually claim his life, but instead of spending the time he has in a hospital, Aaron is now a personal trainer and a competitive athlete. He can’t run any more because he broke his back, but can still do the swim and bike ride legs of a triathlon. Can you imagine having a more motivating personal trainer than Aaron?
  • KD (I can’t pronounce or spell his first name, but he’s a lovely gentleman!) is a Malaysian corporate lawyer whose children came to Canberra for their education. KD saw a gap in the Australian market for high-end, indulgent men’s grooming – the kind that has been provided to royalty and gentlemen since 1805 by Truefitt & Hill, the original shop in London. KD has opened one shop in Canberra and will be opening in the QVB in Sydney in August.
  • Kristen’s son was born with Downs Syndrome. When she asked the paediatrician for advice on how to help Gryffin be the best he could be with exercise, nutrition etc., she was told to buy a big TV. She ignored the unhelpful advice, and 12 years on, Gryffin has developed into an athletic and bright young man making the most of his life. So much so in fact, that he will be playing Stevie Payne as a child in the upcoming feature film about Michelle Payne and her journey to becoming a Melbourne Cup winning jockey. Kristen now fronts a Not For Profit (the Grow Foundation) that supports other parents faced with the same advice.

Inspiration Comes From the Quietest People.

Apart from the joy that hearing all these stories brought, it prompted me to ask a question.

With so many Small Businesses doing such amazing things, why do we not hear more of them? The morning of our pitching session to the journalists, the TV news was full with a story about Kim Kardashian visiting Donald Trump. What on earth could that story add to the stock of human happiness and progress I pondered.

As I boarded the plane back to Brisbane, completely exhausted, I took home a whole raft of new media skills and a fervent hope that the journalists of Australia will spend a bit more time on Aaron, KD and Kristen, and give Kim and Donald a rest

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