Why Expanding Your Community Matters
In time for Fearless, we spoke to the fabulous Michelle Forrester, a She Business member, thriving GM of Stacks Champion and a sponsor of Fearless. We are always fascinated how our women do it and here we gain an insight into what is takes to be a true inspiration.
How do you go from being an employee to the general manager of a company?
Start young – I started working as soon as the legal age allowed me 14 years and 9 months. My first job was at LEGO – the company now recognised as a leader in Innovation. Before a time ‘innovation’ was a buzz word they gave their young staff the opportunity to try it all – I served customers, hunted for elusive spare parts, acted as security on LEGO exhibits, MC’d building competitions, and unpicked LEGO builds until the blisters on my fingers bled.
Be entrepreneurial always – My co-workers from Managing Director to Store Manager encouraged my entrepreneurial streak so it’s no surprise I started my own business at 19 while still at University. Although I’m employed, my entrepreneurial spirit lives strong and is a critical part of my success as General Manager.
Be humble – It doesn’t matter what my role – I will answer the phones, help a lawyer with research or manage the financials. All our staff are collaborative and supportive of their co-workers, first and foremost they are there to make a difference and transform the lives of our clients.
What are the lessons you have learnt in being fearless in your career?
If you don’t walk towards your fear you do not grow. Push through the fear and the pain and then you can say “Yes! I did it! And then get ready for the next challenge. Without being challenged you cannot find your strengths nor your weaknesses.
What is the one piece of advice you have for community of business owners?
Expand your community from one of business owners to a community that represents your values. For example at Stacks Champion we are “Partners in Life”. We look at every client and look at what they wish to achieve in life and focus on that to create a map that will guide us on the journey ahead together. So, our community are people who want to look after the whole picture not just one single transaction.
As a community of business owners – Someone does not need to be a business owner to be a part of your community. Look within your own business as to how you can develop & lead your staff to be the best version of themselves and be as passionate and driven about your business as you are. They can do it. You need to believe it to achieve it.
Why do you feel so passionate about helping other women?
I was raised by a single mother in a matriarchal household in the 1970s. Growing up there were not many kids raised in this situation and sometimes I felt alienated by others due to my home situation. But my family worked as a team and supported each other through tragedy and triumph. From this I could see how much help and guidance was needed to do anything great.
So my passion isn’t just about helping other women – it’s about helping people see the whole picture. Because of my upbringing and the lack of gender balance in our world, I will always be passionate about helping women and help others help women.
What kind of impact did fearless have on you last year to make you want to be a sponsor this year?
Fearless is the icing on the cake of working with amazing people all through the year. It’s an opportunity to celebrate and to be inspired for the new year. While Fearless is an awesome event, we see it as a celebration of the work we do every day with She Business. As we launch Stacks Champion we see Fearless 2015 as the launch pad for us to reach out to more members and give them the holistic professional advice we believe they deserve.
The speakers are always amazing, inspiring and relevant.
What are you bringing to Fearless this year?
We are offering a Business Legal Check for all Fearless attendies. We want to find out more about what you want to achieve in your business and personal lives and see how our Client Services team can assist you in achieving those goals. Too often Lawyers see the end result of lack of planning and preparation in business which leads to negative results in peoples personal lives.
Let’s work together to see what you need and what you feel you are missing in your requirements in dealing with staff, clients, suppliers and help you fill in those gaps that will prevent you from high costs legal action further down the track – when you need it the least.
To meet Michelle Forrester, book your ticket to Fearless now.