Natalie Pickett, a serial entrepreneur from Melbourne, Australia. She has founded multiple successful 6 and 7 figure businesses in the consulting, travel, wellness, publishing and wine industries.
As a mentor, and public speaker, she shares knowledge of how to achieve success, with thousands of people worldwide. She works with business owners and entrepreneurs to develop marketing and business strategies to take their businesses from surviving to thriving. She is also an international best-selling author and has been featured in news and business publications including The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global, Entrepreneur and Authority magazine, sharing advice on how you can define your own version of success and easily take the steps you need to achieve your goals
What inspired your start in entrepreneurship?
I’m a serial entrepreneur from Melbourne, Australia. My career starting in banking, but after taking some time out for travel, I realized that it was a better industry for me. Travel is a big part of my life and my career. I’ve travelled a lot and lived in different countries around the world. After learning the ropes as a tour manager in Europe, I returned to Australia at age 28, and established my first business – an inbound travel company bringing visitors from around the world to see Australia.
Since then, I have founded multiple businesses, with 6 and 7 figure success stories, and I have had my share of triumphs and so called ‘failures’. After closing my travel company during the GFC, I established a successful consulting, mentoring and speaking business. I like to operate from my core values, one of which is ‘fun’, which we can forget to make a priority in business. I love being able to share this knowledge with others, to help them to take their business and daily life from surviving to thriving.
I’ve always loved business. Even as a young girl, I used to convince my friends at elementary school to play ‘business’ with me. I’d be the head of some corporation, or I’d convince my siblings to play ‘shops’ with me, and I would work out each item’s profit margin. People think that a ‘business mind’ is different to a ‘creative mind’, but when you can create something where there was nothing, that’s creative. Turning an idea into something bigger, such as a business that benefits everyone who buys from you, is undeniably creative.
The impetus to start my first business came from my experience and passion for travel. During my time working as a tour leader in Europe, I was fortunate to lead some VIP tours bringing travel agents from Asia. Sydney had just won the bid for the 2000 Olympic Games, and they told me how popular Australia was becoming as a travel destination. Just as I had been as a young girl, I became excited about the idea of starting my own company.
I started this business from home. This was long before the ‘start-up’ trend. My ‘office’ was a little study annex off our bedroom. I still remember the excitement when the first bookings came through – and the excitement when you receive sales never goes away. This business quickly expanded beyond the home office and to multiple 7 figures in sales. It hadn’t occurred to me that at the time that it was unusual for someone so young – and a woman – to start a business.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
There have been lots of highlights. I’ve travelled the world, won industry awards, become an international best-selling author, and sipped some of the world’s best champagne in Champagne! I’ve created multiple successful businesses in industries that I’m passionate about and I get to do things that I love every day. Turning your passion into profit can be a tricky balance because you don’t want to turn the thing you love into a burden. I create successful strategies for my clients to go on and be successful too. I love growing businesses, and when you get the balance right, that is when you have freedom, which ultimately is what we’re all looking for. Celebrate the highs and enjoy the journey — that is the sweet spot, even more than the end goal. In all my businesses I align to follow the joy. When you enjoy what you do every day, and are bringing value to others, that is when you are living the dream!
If you could tribute your success to any in your life who would it be?
For my first business, among the travel industry leaders from Asia who were encouraging me about the interest of travel to Australia, was one gentleman in particular – Jimmy Tan. He was an inspiration, and clearly successful in creating his travel companies in Asia. We kept in touch and when I started my travel company, his businesses were some of my first clients. I admired the way he operated – he was very considerate and treated everyone with respect. He had an eye for a good business opportunity and was a gentleman in the true sense of the word. We still keep in touch. My parents were also supportive and encouraging, which was a great foundation as I was only 28 years old at the time, starting a business in an industry where the average business owners were mostly men in their 40s and 50s.
The experience that I gained from this first business, taking it from a small start-up to a multimillion-dollar business, and the difficult but valuable lessons learnt in closing that business, has really set me up well for all my other businesses.
To be successful you need grit, passion and faith in the value of what you are doing. People think that going into business will give them freedom to do whatever they want, but if you’re not careful, the business can take over your life. There is always a lot of test and measure, and not everything turns to gold straight away. Consistent and persistent action to keep going, even when things haven’t gone to plan, is needed. Being persistent is different to just working hard. Take time to get clear, get in alignment and follow the path. When things don’t go to plan, you need to be agile and open to change to suit the current operating environment.
What message do you hope women take away from your platform?
Life (and business) is supposed to be fun! My movement is ‘Living the Dream’. People think they need to wait until they ‘achieve’ to start enjoying life. I’ve discovered that ‘Living the Dream’ is less about working hard and more about following your joy. When you operate from a place of joy, that is what you share with others – and lots of joyous people makes for a better world!
It is possible to define your own version of success and easily take the steps you need to achieve your goals. It is possible for you to not just ‘Dream the Dream’ but ‘Live the Dream’. I’m passionate about sharing this with the world, and I share that in my writing, my courses and speaking engagements.
What is your go-to quote for motivation?
Our emotional intelligence is so valuable, and I talk a lot about using our emotions to our advantage. This involves being able to observe your emotions and understand why you might be experiencing them, and using them to guide you to what you need to do next. Knowing how to support your own emotional needs is one of the keys to a happy life. This helps us to understand ourselves as well as others. When I’m creating customer experiences for my own businesses as well as workshops to show others how to do the same, I often refer to this quote attributed to Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
What does being a woman making Herstory mean to you?
When women do well, so does everyone else – businesses thrive, families and relationships are mutually supportive. Today we have the advantage of following strong women who have come before us.
I’ve been fortunate to take my interests and passions into the work that I do through creating different businesses in which I get to share those passions with the world. My first business was a travel company, my current businesses are all about sharing my love of Wellness, Bubbles (champagne and sparkling wine), and Business through speaking, writing, and mentoring.
It’s so nice to receive feedback on what we do, such as when our followers write to us and, at my speaking events, when people come to chat to me afterwards and personally thank me for creating the event and say that seeing me succeed inspires them to succeed also. When you are passionate about what you’re doing and get to share that experience with others, you are following your joy and encouraging and empowering others to do the same.
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