Friday, February 28, 2014

Her Not So Secret Battle With Depression And Cyber Bullying

The news of Charlotte Dawson's death last weekend was so unexpected and shocking. Literally.  Everyone, not just her friends and family, her industry colleagues and her peers, but everyone was shocked to hear of her passing.  

In my eyes, Charlotte was a woman of strength.  She spoke her mind - whether that be in discussion panels on a tv show, her opinion on who could be the next top model, or on social media trolls.  We were never left wondering what Charlotte thought.  Charlotte was an open book.

I had the good fortune of meeting Charlotte, just once, three and a half years ago.  Both of us were in the 'green room' at Channel 7 waiting for our respective segments for The Morning Show.  A mutual friend introduced us.  I am always wary of people who have no hesitation in letting you know what they think because to me they can seem somewhat intimidating.  So this is what I had expected Charlotte to be like.  Intimidating she was not.  Lovely and friendly she was.  And funny.  We chatted for about half an hour, I'm guessing.  My opinion of Charlotte changed that day.  She wasn't the out-spoken woman with the loud opinions she had been portrayed as.  She was a classy and stylish woman (with killer heels), who spoke with me like we had known each other since high school.

I, like many, felt saddened that Charlotte had obviously decided she was limited - in what to live for, in how to deal with her demons.  She never kept her demons a secret. Over the years Charlotte had spoken openly about her battle with depression and her ongoing battle with social media trolls. She campaigned about both with passion.  It is just so sad that even the strong among us can feel so defeated.  

From shock to sadness, the sentiments from everyone are the same: we lost a good soul when her life ended way too soon.  

Rest In Peace Charlotte Dawson.

If you or someone you know is or may be suffering from anxiety or depression, you can phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.  Don't leave it, there's no need to.  There is help.

If you wish to have laws implemented against cyber bullying and bring those responsible to account, please sign the petition for Charlotte's Law 

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

No Cancer, Not My Underwear

Breast cancer has a simple target criteria: if you have boobs, you are in the firing line. As a result, more and more younger women, like my girlfriend Tina, are being diagnosed. 

Tina was 37 when her breast cancer diagnosis required her to have a mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, treatment and ongoing medication.  She did everything that her doctors and specialists advised her to do to ensure her full recovery and return to good health.  Cancer raised its fists, and like every cancer patient, Tina fought back.

Prior to her diagnosis, Tina enjoyed wearing beautifully made, sexy, feminine underwear. When Tina was looking for suitable post-mastectomy bras, she found them functional but unflattering, boring and beige.  Really?  At 37?  

Cancer's impact can be varied yet always enormous.  It is unfair.  It is a disease that does not discriminate.  It is a disease you are not prepared for yet have to tackle each day like you have prepared for the battle your whole life.  It can take or change many things, but take your right to gorgeous underwear as well?  The line had to be drawn somewhere, so Tina drew it.  
Red Fern Lingerie

Red Fern Lingerie was born.    

As a cancer survivor, Tina can relate to the effects of the medication post treatment. She understands the requirements for a bra a woman has after having had a mastectomy whether reconstruction has occurred or not. Taking her own experience into account as well as asking other breast cancer survivors about their needs gives Tina the understanding to have developed Red Fern Lingerie. The fits, fabrics, designs and functionality have all been carefully thought out.  

Launching mid 2014, Red Fern Lingerie returns the choice to women.  Cancer can take many things, but take your sexy underwear?  No, it can't do that.

If you are interested in finding out more about this amazing business, head to Red Fern Lingerie's facebook page at or email Tina at

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

3 Business Lessons I'll Never Forget

I keep a journal each for my boys.  I write all manner of things in there that I hope one day they will look back upon and read with interest.  I was prompted recently to share these 3 lessons with my boys as they grow so began to write them in their journals this morning. It further prompted me to share them with you.

Many moons ago, the boss I worked for at the time, over time, taught me many things about operating in business.  I guess he was like my Mr. Miyagi, though he didn't have me washing cars or painting fences.  Or standing on a pole like a pelican for that matter!  I did take from his teachings and guidance however, 3 lessons that I continue to apply today.

Lesson 1: Always answer the telephone within 3 rings
This shows the person calling that you are interested and value their business.  It's simply good customer service.

Lesson 2: Always present a solution when you are raising an issue
It may not be the solution that gets used, but it will show that you have thought about the situation, understand it (or tried to) and come to a conclusion on how to rectify it.

Lesson 3: Approach your work like you own the business
It makes you think differently about your work and your role.  You take a greater interest in understanding the impact, the outcome, the customer's experience and the bottom line.

Being not long out of school at the time, these were good lessons to impart to a teenager. Now, as I embark on my own businesses, the principles around these lessons continue to hold me in good stead.

What have been the lessons that have had the greatest impact on your career?

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