All Xero In episodes
Hosted by Jeanne-Vida Douglas and Rob Stone
Sometimes the hardest thing in business is to make those gutsy moves. This is one of the core lessons learned by entrepreneur Sally Hill, founder of digital experience and events outfit Wildwon. Sally describes how it was a bold move to start the business, but laments not backing her entrepreneurial purpose early enough. She says her greatest business learning came from taking risky leaps.
Two-and-a-half years since launching, Wildwon now hosts innovation festivals for large corporate firms like financial services company AMP. Sally credits the caliber of Wildwon’s clientele to their keen and successful efforts in social media marketing and content marketing. She offers social media advice to other small business looking for a fresh marketing incentive.
Listen in to discover why anger and frustration is the perfect recipe for a unique business purpose and why wherever there’s lemons, there’s lemonade.
Participants: Valerie Khoo (VK), Rob Stone (RS), Sally Hill (SH).
Welcome to Xero In, home of the entrepreneurs’ small business journey. Here are your hosts Valerie Khoo and Rob Stone.
VK: Hi there small business owners. I'm Valerie Khoo, and you've tuned into Xero In. Joining me in our Sydney studio is Rob Stone. What have you been up to lately Rob?
RS: Hi there Valerie. A lot. Tonight I'm going to a Fintech hub called Tyro which is pretty exciting and there's all these little incubators popping up around Sydney…
RS: …so it's always a very interesting night and you meet lots of interesting people and you know, hear some great presenters.
VK: It's always interesting to see people who are at the start of their business and to see really what drives them. You know, I’ve been running my business for 10 years, so you kind of forget sometimes what was the fire that sparked you 10 years ago.
VK: So it's great to be around those people.
RS: It's intoxicating. But how about you? What have you been up to Valerie?
VK: What have I been up to? I've actually been interviewing for a new accountant, believe it or not, so it's interesting because I find that a lot of other entrepreneurs are in a similar boat. You know, sometimes there's nothing wrong with their accountant, that perhaps they've just outgrown them or they've gone into new industry so they need a new level of expertise. But it's certainly an interesting experience. You've got to kind of know the right questions to ask to make sure that it's the right fit.
RS: I think a lot of small business owners must go through the same issue of saying - I need a new accountant or a bookkeeper or just more like, financial advice. For you, what were some of the things that attracted you to your new accountant?
VK: Oh, well in the end we did make a decision on a particular accountant and I think that it was just that rapport. Well it was more than just the rapport. One thing was the rapport. The other thing was of course, they needed to be technically good, but apart from that they needed to be able to convey that technical expertise in plain English, which is really important because there's no point being, you know, an expert in something if you actually can't communicate that with your clients. So those three things I think are really important. But I'm really excited about today's guest Sally Hill, and she's going to be talking to us about her business, Wildwon.
RS: It's a unique company. It's focused on events but what really defines them for me is their amazing sense of purpose. It's - it's a positive business. It's a certified B-Corporation. It's committed to helping other positive enterprises thrive. It's this whole concept of going back and really examining why - why do you get up in the morning? Why do you go and do what you do? If you think that the most valuable commodity you have is time, then operating in a business that you don't believe in, and you're not aligned with that purpose, just doesn't make sense to me.
VK: I'm keen to hear from Sally because I understand that she uses social media pretty effectively to grow her business and I'm a big fan of social media. I think you may have figured that out by now, Rob.
RS: Any particular apps that you use Valerie?
VK: There are, actually. I think that some people don't realise that it can be so easy to be efficient with social media if you do have the right tools. Now, one of the things that I use is Buffer app and I think that that's really useful because that allows you to schedule your social media.
RS: I need that one, I am useless at social media.
VK: Well, it's something that's really helpful because it's not just across one platform. It's across LinkedIn, it's across Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook - you name it. So you can schedule your social media you know, on a Sunday night if you want to, but importantly social media's not just about broadcast and you know, making sure you're scheduling - schedule all these links out there. It's also about conversation. So I actually use Hootsuite to have those conversations on social media, so I probably am sometimes on my tablet watching TV with Hootsuite open and chatting to people on social media, because that's where you - you know - you establish those real connections with people. But also social media is really, really visual these days. Are you on Instagram Rob?
RS: I am on Instagram. I have to say overall, I, I need to get my head wrapped around social media a lot - a lot more - and I love these apps that you're - you're talking about, because I struggle. I'm kind of a private person and having that distinction between the personal and the personality is an important one for those people that, you know, are a little bit uncomfortable putting themselves out there on social media. But you sound like you've - you've mastered this.
VK: Well, I have some advice for you then. I understand that it's important to, if - if you're quite a private and personal, you know, person, so I think it's important to distinguish the difference between personality and personal. Keep your personal stuff personal, but sometimes you want to show elements of your personality to people and with something like Instagram, something that might appeal to you Rob, where you don't show any part of your private life or personal life, is some people love tweeting or sharing inspirational quotes or resources. And one thing you can do with Instagram which I do, is I use an app called Word Swag and that's just on your smart phone, and what you can do is you can upload a photo or a great, you know, graphic, but you can put text on it and it looks fantastic. It looks like it's been designed by a graphic designer and you can put in inspirational quotes. So what I usually tweet about - because I am the director of the Australian Writers' Centre - is I put inspirational writing quotes out there, and sometimes I put inspirational entrepreneurial quotes out there, and I use Word Swag to create that and then I put it on Instagram.
RS: That's a great idea, and I have to say I always read inspirational quotes – they’re when you're scrolling through Twitter for instance - they're very hard not to - the - the great ones.
VK: There you go, you better follow my Instagram then.
RS: Will do.
VK: We're part of the Xero podcast network and we'd love you to subscribe to the show in iTunes.
RS: And leave us a review. The link is in today's show notes on xero.com.
VK: So Sally, thanks for joining us in the studio today.
SH: A pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
VK: Now tell us about Wildwon, you know. Give us an idea of what the business is about.
SH: Sure. So we started the business about two and a half years ago now, and I mean, we're an events company today, but we, we really started out just experimenting with how we could - we were really just creating community events in the first place for some causes that we cared about, and we realised that to build communities quickly, it was - it was great to create these really beautiful events with all the bells and whistles but that also had a kind of, deeper layer of either learning or meaning to them.
VK: What's an example of a community event? What do you mean?
SH: So our first events were for a group called the Youth Food Movement and they're all about fair sustainable food systems and advocating for that and we run events like a cycling food tour all around Sydney that visit farmers' markets and sustainable food outlets. We also created a pop-up cinema in a food warehouse - a food pack warehouse.
SH: So those kind of events that got people involved in the issue but also were really interesting to attend. So we've become a little bit more sophisticated than that since and we've really honed what we do and my background's in digital communications and campaigning. My business partner Yvonne's background is actually in UX design and service design and so we're applying those skills to events, you know, which typically - it's actually quite disruptive. We've found the events industry to be so focused on digital and technology and service design. And what we're calling it now - what we're doing is experience design - so designing end to end experiences that are really exceptionally good all the way along…
VK: So what's an example?
SH: …and consistent. So an example of something we've worked on recently is an event called Link Festival. Our client was Engineers Without Borders. They're all about design and engineering for good, so the topic of Link Festival was Design Technology for Social Change, and we brought together about 300 people in Melbourne at Deakin Edge and we had, you know, a really exciting lead-up in terms of the content marketing that we were pushing out in the lead up to the event, all around impact design, design for good technology as it applies to real world problems, and then we had you know, two days of Stellar Speakers and really - I guess really - immersive engaging interactive education for people who are interested in learning more about this.
RS: Could you share with us a little bit about the Amplify Project that you did…
RS: …and what an intrepreneur is?
VK: Sure. So Amplify is an ideas and innovation festival that's run by AMP and it's all about building the knowledge - knowledge, learning and innovation capacity at, well, you know, a financial services institution essentially, and it's to be headed by a really amazing woman there called Annalie Killian. She's the Director of Innovation but on her business card it actually says Catalyst for Magic - I don't know how she got away with that - but she kind of, really got innovation on the agenda early on in the financial services industry, and they're still a leader on it, and essentially she brings together world thought leaders for five days at the AMP offices and we were responsible for a couple of parts of that event. One was the theming and sort of, the immersive experience - the aesthetic experience, as you walked into Amplify in 2013. We were also responsible for a staff engagement in the lead-up, so getting really excited and ramped up towards the timing of the festival.
RS: And that was the origami, was it?
SH: That was the origami, yes, which ended up being bigger than Ben Hur. I mean, we had a - they had a hack day and the origami…
VK: What was the origami thing?
SH: So the origami - it was the theme of the festival before we even came on board - it was about origami and cranes as a symbol, and we kind of extended it out a little further to really be about using your hands. I think we used the - the tagline – ‘make with your head and think with your hands’. So it was really about getting people thinking through using tactile and just using different parts of their brain. And so one example of how that worked in practice is during a hack day that they held, we used the - the crane folding - teaching people how to fold paper cranes as a warm-up, and it was just a really interesting process. People said that it did kind of, switch on a different part of their brain. They also chatted a lot as they did the warm-up exercise to people they might not have spoken to before, so it was a kind of, an ice-breaker, and we also - we streamed the folding lesson across AMP offices all around the Asia Pacific who were all doing the hack day on the same day. So it was just a really interesting very tactile different way to use your head and your hands, and the – the cranes were actually collected and used to form part of the staging at the - the bigger Amplify Festival, so it all kind of tied together.
RS: It looked like a beautiful experience. And building on that success, you know, what type of projects do you prefer to work on? Is it more in the corporate sector or is it more where there's more value in terms of a community aspect?
SH: We actually - we actually started to believe that there's not so much difference between business and not-for-profit anymore and we're seeing more and more hybrids. We're seeing for-purpose business really come through strongly. Social enterprises are absolutely booming at the moment, and I mean, we've been - we've been advocating ever since the start of our business around being purpose-driven as a business. We're a benefit corporation. Even before we started Wildwon I was very involved in corporate social responsibility and campaigning activism, but I really believe now that - I mean, for us anyway - starting a business was the - the fastest way we could see to actually create change and demonstrate that a different way of doing business is possible. And so, yeah, I mean we're really interested in working with all kinds of people. We work in the not-for-profit sector, we work with social businesses and we also work with corporates and businesses who have a really interesting attitude towards change or how they want to add genuine value to the world.
RS: And how do you become a successful social entrepreneur?
SH: I think the key to success as a social entrepreneur is - this is going to sound a little strange - but I think you have to - you have to be a bit angry about something or at least frustrated. Right. Like, so many - so many entrepreneurs are successful because they notice that something rubs - there's a friction in the process, or there's a product that they wished exists but doesn't, and they feel that gap. And if they were frustrated about it, there was a whole lot of more - a whole lot more people who were frustrated about it as well. So similarly with social enterprise if there's an obvious problem that we all know is there, be it homelessness or be it - I don't know - maybe healthy food - or something that is an obvious problem that we're not dealing with, and if it annoys you and makes you angry, it's likely to make a lot of other people angry or sad. And I guess when, wherever there's lemons, there's lemonade, you know. Like, the biggest problems we have in society right now, are also the biggest opportunities.
RS: I couldn't agree more, and I think a lot of people would be almost envious of those that have a reservoir of purpose because they do have that - that grit and that, that, that anger or the fire. What about the people that are in business and they don't have a purpose but you know, they're doing something and they are searching for that purpose - where do they start?
SH: Hmm. Good - good question. I, I wouldn't normally say that it's a good idea to try to retrofit purpose…
VK: …onto - onto a business model, but I do think you can look for opportunities. I mean, in corporate social responsibility people refer to it as shared value and that idea is that, if your business is really, really good at something, try to think about how that skill or resource could be applied to a social problem. So for example if you're a property developer, you might have a whole lot of latent unused property that - that is between developments. Maybe it sits there empty for three months. Maybe you could think about what artists in your city needs space to use and could easily get in and out of a space within three months.
RS: I love it. And you celebrate this concept of the human in your own teams. What's some of the things that you do to you know, actualise this human element and make - getting everyone to collaborate more in your teams?
SH: I guess we have - we have a very small company which makes it easy, so we have a very, very flat structure. I think one of the most important things we do is that we recognise that everyone in our team is a person with their own hopes and dreams. So while they're working to help us make our dream a reality, which is this company that we've created, they also have you know, their own hopes and aspirations as a person and they don't necessarily want to be working every day just to make someone else's dream a reality. So we'd really try to foster a culture of everyone in the company being an entrepreneur without necessarily having to start a company. So having a founder's mindset, having that mindset of starting things, getting their ideas off the ground within our business and us actually helping them to do that.
RS: And have you found you've been able to extend that through to your freelancers? Because obviously, being at events you need to scale up quickly and then, you know, they're left in a vacuum afterwards. How's - how do you deal with those relationships?
SH: Just recently, we've been trying to change our model and I guess, smooth out our - our year, just in terms of the ups and downs of having big events on and then - and then big breaks. So we made a really big leap when we hired our first employee just a few months ago, and since then we've been - actually been able to hire two more people, because it did exactly what it was meant to do, which is free us up to go and - out and get more business, and I guess, find the resources to help pay more people. But in answer to the question about freelancers and contractors, we love working with all sorts of awesome partners and creatives that are just perfect for that project and we still do. But we really wanted to try and keep the knowledge and people that we'd invested in, in terms of the relationships but also organisational knowledge.
VK: So you've obviously grown quite recently and you've gone from doing community events to doing events for AMP which is huge. So what do you think have, apart from hiring your first employee and freeing yourself up to – to do that, what other things have been your key drivers for that growth? Has it been, you know, word of mouth? Has it - what kind of marketing have you done? What have been the key strategies?
SH: Sure. So we have completely relied on social media marketing and content marketing. We do not have a marketing budget or an advertising budget as such, and we've really, from the start - actually, particularly at the start - we used social media to get our - our events out there, but also our content and I guess, our thought leadership and positioning as a company out there. So we were trying to post really regularly on experience design which is a relatively new emerging field, so we always had to educate the market on what is this thing that we're supposedly experts in and experience design for us is where we've applied the methodologies of UX and service design, which are kind of, digital tools, across into the real world, or projects that combine the digital and the real world. So we post a lot of about that. We, we talk a lot at events which I guess, gets amplified online via social media.
VK: And has that been a specific strategy to actually talk at events - you know, key events?
SH: Not so much actually. It's just something that's happened and it - it works reasonably well, especially if you wanted to create quite a lasting or you know, personal relationship with people. It's really good to actually just be out there as a person, and on that note, I think, something that really served us well earlier on in our business, was that both Yvonne and I had invested quite a lot in our communities, and when I say communities, I mean myself, it was kind of in the sustainability and social change community and Yvonne was very involved in arts and design festivals as a volunteer and also just as someone who was interested. So we were kind of, out and about at events all the time and I guess, being very generous and you know, volunteering and running events in those communities, so that when we started up our own business, people were very willing to support us and were almost waiting to see what we were going to do.
VK: So who do you think does social media well? Because you've relied on it a lot in terms of your growth?
VK: What other businesses do you think are - are doing social media well?
SH: Sure. I think there's some really clever very small businesses doing social media well. I think small businesses tend to be good at it because they're naturally very authentic and very human which is kind of, the goal that you want on social media. We really watch an organisation called the Happy Startup School in the UK. They're a really interesting organisation that train people in how to get start-ups and products to market very quickly but also how to build really happy, purpose-led companies with great cultures and great stories and they run really beautiful events. They also create their own tools which I think is something that works really well in social media. For example, they - you might know the business model Canvas, which is in the book business model generation.
RS: Know it and love it.
SH: Yeah. Yeah. It's an amazing tool that I don't think any business starting up now doesn't know about, or if they don't, they - they should definitely use it. They've created their own version of that which is called the Happy Startup Canvas which is a pyramid with like, purpose at the top and then…
RS: It's brilliant.
SH: …these - these other kind of components that you need to fill out. So it - it doesn't necessarily replace the business model canvas, but it's - it's a really nice tool to think about if you're starting up and you want to have some values infused in your company. So that's something that's, you know, shared all around the world now, that they developed and - and shared via social media.
RS: Well, we'll make sure we put those in the show notes. Now, you've spoken on the website - which by the way, great website - about edge thinking. Have you seen or are you working on any projects currently that has some kind of edginess to it?
SH: Oh, good question. We - we would love to be doing more. We - it's funny when we started - when we started out, we were doing so many experimental projects and then as the business kind of continued we did more and more for other people but we always tried to you know, even when we were working for our client insert something that's really unique. In fact, people often come to us when they want to do something that has never been done before.
But in terms of edginess, I mean we're running our own conference for the first time this year, which will be in December and it's all about purpose-driven business. So we're really trying to drive that and professionalise that sector and I guess put in the stake in ground and say, this is - this is happening and tell the world that it's - it's not you know, a fad. It's actually here to stay. We're working on a knowledge event as part of the Sydney Mardi Gras next year, which is really exciting. So the Mardi Gras obviously is famous for the parade, but now they're starting to think about how they can have an ideas festival surrounding that event as well, which is all about Queer Thinking, which I think is really edgy but also really awesome.
And we're - we're eternally trying to get up our own ideas and one of our staff member's actually runs a really successful little social media and advocacy group all about sustainable lifestyle choices and excuse my language here - I don't normally swear - but it's called Be An Unfucker - and it's amazing to see these - these girls who have no experience in sustainability, but have a lot of experience in advertising and digital marketing, just totally cut through the noise on sustainability. And they have got a huge following on social media. They are - they - it looks beautiful. It sounds the way people really speak and it's all about unfucking the world and doing little things every day that make a difference.
RS: It's got my attention, and being a rookie at social media, what - what is successful? Like, how big are we talking?
SH: So these guys have - have found a following on Facebook of - I think around 10,000 people within a few months of starting up and it's a side project for them so they don't even do it full-time, and their Instagram following is also huge. I could be wrong there on the numbers, but it's essential a really fast-growing following that's happened very, very quickly.
VK: You refer to purpose-driven businesses and I think many business owners would think - oh yeah, I have a purpose. What's your definition of a purpose-driven business, so that they can get that context?
SH: Mm. Good question. So I was at an event that we ran a couple of weeks ago during Vivid called the Future of Work and a woman spoke whose name is Dr Fiona Kerr and she's an expert on values and purpose in businesses and she said this amazing line which was - every company is values led, but they just don't necessarily all have nice values.
So I guess every company has a purpose. Right? But I guess what we're trying to advocate is that your purpose or the thing that you're really trying to do in the world which is solving a problem, is up-front and centre in just your decision making, whereas most businesses really, their bottom line and their profit motive is up-front and centre. And I know it sounds counterintuitive, but I believe that the new wave of business and the companies of the future are those that put their purpose first and when you put your purpose first, the prosperity kind of follows. But I don't think anyone really gets excited about the idea of making money really at the end of the day. I think they get excited about ideas. They get excited about creating something in the world, and when you're doing that, you create energy that, that makes you successful as a business.
RS: And I think we are starting to see a bit of a tipping point as well about - and purposefulness is an example of just being mindful and conscious of what you're doing - being in business or you know, elsewhere in one's life. What has the role been for you with the use of mentors and how do you find them? How do you interact? Is it something that's organic and - or can happen you know, just without any contriveness?
SH: Mm. Mm. We've - we think a lot about this actually, because we have been lucky that a few people have offered to mentor us and it's just been a really incredible experience of people really wanting to see us succeed and offering their, you know, years of experience and their time in really - like I'm talking about working on the nuts and bolts of our business and working through those really, you know, critical issues that take part in…
VK: And they just popped out of nowhere?
SH: One - I mean, one - my personal mentor was kind of offering to mentor me for ages before I took him up on it, because I didn't realise he was offering. Because I guess it's not a very natural thing and it can be a little awkward almost, either to ask or to offer and when it finally happened it was just - it was such a blessing. And I have a couple of you know - a couple of personal mentors. Something - some of these are more formal relationships than others but our current business mentor - I can actually name him. He's a wonderful guy by the name of Michael Bradley who started Marque Lawyers, which is a really interesting law firm that are really very innovative and disruptive in their field and he just took an interest in our business. We're also a client of his firm, but that doesn't really come into the equation at all. He just took a personal interest. He spends a couple of hours with us every month, which is just so generous for an MD of a company like his, and we work through the really tricky - tricky stuff, and he guides us through it all.
Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth, but he just pulls us through all those sticky situations that you get into in business.
VK: Wow. Now if you had - could wind back the clock and do things some - do some things differently, what would you do? You know, what have been some of the biggest learning ex - you know, points and turning points in your business?
SH: Mm. So in terms of things I would do differently, there are very few, but I think - I think I would have had a stronger confidence in what we were doing and what we were about, because I think at the start, we - we felt like we were riding on a hunch, you know, around - around experience design and the language of design thinking. A lot of people would, you know, not understand what we were talking about, but that wasn't an issue. I think we needed to lead more strongly on that and really just push that language anyway and under - I guess, trust ourselves and trust our hunch that it was going to become a bigger thing. And I would have made that first hire earlier.
VK: A lot earlier. Yes.
SH: Because it's just such a daunting thing. It's okay for you guys – as founders to take some risks, but when you're talking about bringing someone else on board full-time, it's really daunting, but it just opened up so much head space for us. It changed - it changed the game really.
VK: What have been the biggest challenges in your business and how did you overcome them?
SH: The biggest challenges have been - I mean, one challenge I think everyone who is a co-founder to a business has, is really caring for that co-founder of the business relationship with your business partner, and relationships are everything in business and we're learning that even more so now with a team. You know, you just have to invest so much in the team and it's never time wasted to sit down with your team and just ask them how they're going and just support them through anything they need and I've - I've just learnt a lot about relationships in general through the relationship with my business partner. It's like a marriage you know. You – you spend so much time together. You share finances, you're sharing ups and downs and you have to invest in it like you would a marriage. You just have to keep giving and giving and never really give up on it because it's so easy to just - I guess for it all to get too much. But it's so worthwhile to work through.
VK: Has there been any point where you've thought this is too much - you know, the business? I've, I've taken on too much. What am I doing?
SH: Oh maybe. I mean, when we have events, they're really intense periods of work and sometimes we get no sleep for too many nights in a row. That's just kind of, the nature of events, so sometimes we do wonder what we got ourselves in for, but not really. I mean, around the two year mark, we were starting to wonder whether we were in a bit of a repeating cycle on, you know, getting the business in, doing all the work, constantly being in the trenches of either finding work or doing it and it was starting to wear thin and - and that's around the time that we decided to invest in our first employee and that really changed things. So it could have been a lot different if we'd, you know, tried to stick it out any longer. I think we would have just maybe fizzled out, because like, you can't do that slog forever.
RS: But just to go back if - because it's a real chicken and egg problem for a lot of small business owners - making that first initial investment in someone coming onto your team. You have self-doubt around, you know, can we actually create enough work to support this - this person? Knowing what you know now, would you go back and what - at what point would you hire that initial person because at the moment you - you hired them just when you were at the breaking point.
SH: Mm. Mm. Yeah. I mean I - I think I would just encourage people to be a bit gutsier when it comes to that and that's like every - that's part of being an entrepreneur I guess - is the initial starting of a business is something that takes a lot of guts. But you have to continue to take those big leaps, otherwise you just, you know, you repeat or you stand still or you go backwards. I think we've learned again and again that it's when we take big leaps that things pay off and if you can't take those leaps, there's no point anyway. So you may as well put yourself out there and you kind of, you know, you learn. At least we found that our most intense periods of learning are when we’ve kind of, taking a kind of a big leap and we're in the air - you know, before you actually land, you can't be ready for these things. You've just got to do them.
RS: That's great advice.
VK: And finally, what's your next big leap?
SH: Our next big leap is running our own event that we're totally I guess, financially backing. So events are really financially risky. There's a huge outlay, so initiating our own conference that is a hunch, but we're hoping it will be one that people would - will really be interested in. That's our next big thing to bite off and then hopefully after that we'll continue to - to get more of our own projects off the ground.
RS: Well, you've got two tickets here, that's for sure.
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VK: Very exciting. So before we wrap, wrap up, we've just got some quick fire questions for you, so that people can get to know you a bit better. Who's your favourite entrepreneur or business personality?
SH: Helen Souness, MD of Etsy Australia.
RS: And what wakes you up in the morning?
SH: The people that I have meetings with. I love people.
VK: What's your favourite business-related book?
SH: Gamestorming by Dave Gray.
RS: And what do you do when suddenly your business just isn't working for you, or you're having a fight?
SH: I get together with my business partner and we admit to each other what it is that's bothering us and we nut it out.
VK: What are the three apps on your phone you can't live without?
SH: Slack is a must. If anyone's not using it yet, do it. Twitter and Stitcher which is the podcast app is awesome.
RS: And what's your favourite TV show?
SH: I don't really watch TV because I don't think you can afford to watch TV if you're running a business, but I do download or stream Q&A every week.
VK: And finally, the best piece of advice you've been given?
SH: The best piece of advice I've been given was from the guy who prompted us to start our own business. He said - figure out what the minimum viable you is, in terms of your lifestyle, what are you prepared to do, what dollar amount are you prepared to live on, and that's your base for the next year. Deal with it and the rest is cream on top.
VK: Wonderful. And on that note, thanks for joining us today.
RS: Thanks so much.
SH: No worries. Thank you.
VK: If you have any questions you'd like answered on the show, tweet us at Xero using the hash tag, #xeroin.
RS: It was some really interesting insights from Sally today.
VK: Yeah. Definitely.
RS: The things that I loved and resonated strongly were obviously purpose. You know, having that as the very head of the river when you're thinking about what's going to come afterwards for your business.
RS: I also quite liked when she was talking about the minimum viable you, in terms of money, so you know what…
VK: That is a good one.
RS: ...what do you need to live on and then everything else, think about what you can do to invest, and then lastly be bold.
RS: You know, you're an entrepreneur. You're out there. You're driven by a great sense of purpose. Take those leaps and for her, it was that chicken and egg conundrum around hiring that first person.
VK: There's so many people I speak to - so many business owners - who always say if they had their time again, they would do that first hire a lot earlier.
RS: That's right.
VK: It's so important. It's such a big scary thing - that first employee, and so I thought I would share a - a new book that's out actually on that point, and it's called Work Rules - insights from inside Google that will transform how you live and lead. It's actually written by the head of Google's people operations. So they - you know, Google employee number one - was a long, long time ago, and now they receive over 1.5 million unique applications for jobs every year, so they're doing something right.
So I think whether you - you're a small business, just like Sally and you know, you've just done your first hire or your first couple of hires, or whether you're a larger organisation, there's certainly some things that we can learn from a book like this, because it's all about understanding how to learn about your best employees compared to your worst employees - you know, making that distinction. Why you should only hire people who are smarter than you, which makes perfect sense and you know, why not to trust your gut instinct, which is an interesting insight as well, because you know, sometimes you've got to be asking the right questions and making sure you're looking at the right, you know, metrics and background and not just whether you get along and can have a beer with someone. So that is Work Rules by Laszlo Bock - Block. That is Work Rules by Laszlo Bock.
RS: Sounds like a great book. I'm definitely going to have a read of that one on my audio. For more useful information about social media, please check out the Xero Small Business Guides. You'll find a link in today's show notes.
VK: Well, that's it for today. Be sure to join us next time. I'm Valerie Khoo.
RS: And I'm Rob Stone. Thanks so much for joining us and please Xero In for the next episode.