RedBalloon's Naomi Simson is an Australian entrepreneurial success story. In her new book, Live What You Love, Naomi shares her secrets to help you find the personal and professional success you crave.
Passion. Persistence. Positivity. Purpose.
These are the four powerful words that have guided Naomi through the stormy waters of life: from setting up a company and turning it into a multi-million-dollar business to living a fulfilling family life and raising happy, confident children, all the while committed to helping others achieve the same kind of success.
In Live What You Love, Naomi shows you how to apply the four -power words' to your own life. Using practical exercises and checklists you will uncover your deepest motivations and desires. Naomi shares her own stories of success (and failure!) and the lessons each taught her. Along the way, she discusses topics like the nature of success, finding happiness at work, how to be part of a winning team and finding a life equilibrium.
In leading by example, Naomi demonstrates how to channel passion, learn persistence, find purpose and exercise good leadership, in order to help you create a richer work experience, discover your true path and fully realise your potential – at work and far beyond.
Life is a collection of choices, Naomi says. If it's a myth that we can -have it all', what are you prepared to sacrifice to live a life of passion? Let Live What You Love show you how to build a life full of powerful choices that follows your dream.
There are many books on the market about achieving success. None combines the hard‐earned wisdom of one of Australia's greatest entrepreneurs with a practical approach to self-discovery like Live What You Love, making it an indispensable tool for the curious and ambitious everywhere.
Naomi Simson established RedBalloon in 2001, and grew it into a multi‐award-winning business that has serviced more than 2.5 million customers. Naomi now works with the company as founding director and brand ambassador, having handed over the operational reins to a CEO, and devotes much of her time to philanthropic work and professional speaking. From early 2015 Naomi will be a -Shark' on Channel Ten's Shark Tank.
Naomi has a substantial online presence, particularly via LinkedIn where she has a massive 800,000 followers and growing! Her speaking engagements reach 20,000 people a year and her blog naomisimson.com 100,000 a year and she has close to 10,000 Twitter followers. Her life is not limited to the business world. She also works in a philanthropic role as a governor for the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation and is an advisor to Head Over Heels and Voiceless.
Naomi has two teenage children and has lived in Sydney for 25 years, although she was born and grew up in suburban Melbourne.
Follow Naomi's blog at naomisimson.com or, for more information, go to redballoon.com.au.
Live What You Love
Author: Naomi Simson
Question: What inspired you to write Live What You Love?
Naomi Simson: It all started with a simple blog entry. I was writing a piece for LinkedIn on what I would tell my younger self, when I realised just how much I had learnt about the powerful choices we can make to live a life we love. So in a way I guess you could say that I started out writing this book for myself. Along the way I realised that everyone deserves to find their true passion and purpose in life. If I can pass on the lessons I've learnt and the mistakes that I've made to add value to the lives of others then I've done my job.
Question: What do you hope readers take away from Live What You Love?
Naomi Simson: I hope they stop to think about their life and the choices they make every day. I hope they realise that living a life they love isn't out of reach and that they can start taking positive steps towards their future dreams today. If nothing else, they can discover why they feel great when they do certain things, and why they don't feel great when they do something else. Discovering your purpose doesn't mean you'll create world peace overnight, but it will lead you to thinking about how you can positively impact the people around you.
Question: Can you talk us through the four powerful words that have guided you along the way to your success?
Naomi Simson: The four areas I continually focus on are passion, persistence, positivity and purpose. Knowing your passion results in working hard to keep it alive, enjoying every minute of every day, even when the obstacles seem insurmountable. Persistence means continuing a course of action despite difficulty. Positivity is crucial as positive people are healthier, more likely to be in a romantic relationship, are more productive and are even luckier than their pessimistic peers. And finally purpose is what moves people to make the world a better place.
Question: Why was it important for you to include your failures, when writing Live What You Love?
Naomi Simson: Everyone fails at times – that's a fact. It's how you pick yourself up from failure that matters. If running a business was easy, everyone would do it. If being an elite sportsperson was easy, everyone would do it. Of course you're going to have wins, and of course you're going lose at times, but it's all about how you deal with it afterwards.
Question: What is your top tip to give to someone looking at starting their own small business?
Naomi Simson: My number one tip is it's never just about a good idea. If I've learnt anything from starting RedBalloon, it's that businesses are 1 per cent idea and 99 per cent execution. You do still need that bright, shining idea though – without it you only have hard work. It doesn't have to be a sexy or ground-breaking or technologically advanced idea, but all of the great businesses you can think of solve a problem.
Question: What have you learnt whilst filming Shark Tank?
Naomi Simson: I have learnt so much, but above all else the experience has opened up my eyes to the sheer creativity and ingenuity of Australians. There are some amazing Aussie businesses with incredible innovations.
Question: What would you say has been your biggest achievement, to date?
Naomi Simson: I'm incredibly proud of the culture we have created at RedBalloon. Being featured on the BRW Great Places to Work list five years in a row is something I hold very close to my heart. I am nothing without the people around me, and knowing we've created a place where people look forward to coming to work every day is very special.
Interview by Brooke Hunter