“When I was asked to give this speech, I had no clue where to start.
So, I decided to use my newly acquired marketing skills to make it relevant to the world of marketing and draw from those who inspire me.
Most business people will be familiar with Simon Sinek’s golden circle.
In Simon’s famous TED talk, he discusses how while most companies know what they do, few know how they do it, and very few know why.
Very few organisations know the reason they started their journey in the first place.
Why is not about money, the result is money. It is about purpose, cause, belief and the reason the organisation exists.
What is the reason you get out of bed in the morning? If you don’t care about what you do, how can you expect others to?
So, I set about trying to figure out my “Why”.
I figured out that some of my Why’s are here with me today, including my daughter Emilia who has allowed me to grow alongside her as her mother. She is a teenage Libra, who finds it hard to make choices and always has an opinion. I am sure after my speech I will be given a full rundown of what I did well, what I didn’t do too well and where I have room to improve.
Another is an old lady in South Africa who doesn’t remember my name. The others are unfortunately unable to be here with me today but are all equally loved by me.
My family inspired me to be the person I am today and my kids continue to inspire me to better myself.
Today you are looking at a very different person to the person who came to New Zealand in the middle of 2020. This was when my husband and I sought a safe location for our family to ride out the madness of Covid.
In early 2020 our world took a change of direction, which neither of us was prepared for.
The arrival of Covid saw my husband’s business (which we had invested much of our life savings into) effectively close. This left him out of work and me, a full-time mother for most of the previous 10 years, unable to find a job to support us.
That is where my family came to the rescue. We left our dogs with my parents and walked out of our Johannesburg rental.
Leaving everything that didn’t fit in a suitcase, we managed to get to NZ on the 19th of May 2020, 2 days before my 40th Birthday. Not exactly how I planned to spend this milestone.
Throughout these months of stress, I could keep moving forward because of my children, the smiles on their faces, and my determination not to let them down.
When we made it out of quarantine, we were met by my fantastic brother-in-law, sister-in-law and their 2 kids (who I am so glad are here tonight).
They welcomed us into their home and made us feel like it would be ok. The eight of us lived together for 4.5 months (I will repeat that, so it sinks in 4.5 months!) – and we were never made to feel like we were in the way.
I am lucky to have the family I do, who treat me with respect and unconditional love. When I was at one of my lowest points, they were there for me.
That is the family part of my Why. Now for the me part of my Why.
Perhaps, my biggest regret was not taking full advantage of the opportunity to study after school. After spending 2 years doing 2 separate Diploma’s, I stopped one paper short of receiving them.
I was young, stupid, and having too much fun. Effectively wasting 2 years of my life, failing to achieve these qualifications.
Up until 2020, I managed to navigate around this problem.
However, being married to the person I am and moving to all the places we have lived, I was limited by the ability to control my life.
If something happened to Matt, I would have found myself on the other side of the world, away from family, without the necessary qualifications to obtain a work permit.
This lack of control, limited opportunities and ever-present regret needed addressing. I never wanted to lack the ability to help my family again.
While I used to work in sales, I didn’t want another sales job. One that ran off a script trying to convince people to buy things they didn’t want just so that I could support my family.
Instead, I wanted to help people and do it ethically. To use my creativity to develop solutions and help people grow their businesses.
Contrary to popular belief, a person undertaking a digital marketing qualification does not aim to become a cross-media spammer.
Digital Marketing, done correctly, places significant focus on helping and empathising with the user. It aims to help them find what they are looking for, simplify this process, and solve their problems.
That is why I love and am passionate about what we do and what NZIE taught us. Of this, I am proud.
When I started this course, all the fears of failure returned to haunt me. I shed quite a few tears thinking there was no way I would pass.
Given that neither my husband nor myself were employed – I felt immense pressure to succeed. So, I set myself the simple goal of passing.
There was a strong feeling of dread and nerves running through my body when I got my first results.
I was so happy I passed! Somehow, unbelievably in my mind and possibly cheating according to my 11yr old son, I managed 78%. After that, I set my goals higher, and after each assessment, the goals increased.
With 2 smart kids. I didn’t want them to see their mum not working hard and just scraping by.
Perhaps, my goals weren’t SMART goals. They certainly didn’t seem realistic at the time.
However, I needed to prove to myself that I could achieve a qualification that set a high standard for passing.
So that is the Me part of my Why. No longer was I going to wallow in regret, but I was going to learn and grow from it.
According to Dan Pink, regret is a complex emotion, and people can only feel regret after the age of 5. So that is why our toddlers don’t care!
We all have regrets, whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. I can impart any message to you today; Take control of your life, embrace and learn from regrets to make lemonade.
My regret helped get me here in front of you today.
Each of us will have a Why, even if it isn’t immediately apparent to you. Find your Why.
You have been given the tools by NZIE to go out and make your way in the world of Digital Marketing. Build and do good things with those tools and find your Why!
Finally, I borrow from Dr Suess – Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” “