We have an incredible guest speaker today, Kate Maree O’Brien. Now if you haven’t heard of Kate before, she is the founder of “She”, which is Australia’s largest women’s leadership and empowerment event. Today, Kate and I talk all about her journey through life. She’s a mom, she runs three businesses, she has a team of 12. Literally, this woman does it all. No excuses. We talk about her journey through business and through life. We also talk about women’s leadership, women’s empowerment, and all of the amazing things along the way. Kate also has a free video training for you at the very end of this episode, so make sure that you stick around to the very end. So, without further ado, I’m going to take my big bowl of excited energy and throw that at you. Enjoy the episode.
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Elley: Okay, so Kate, welcome to the podcast. I’m very excited to have you on today. And to share all your wisdom with the ladies listening. So welcome.
Kate: Thanks for having me!
Elley: Anytime. So, before we dive into everything because I’m honestly so excited to pick your brain; I’m not gonna lie. Before we dive in, I wondered if you could give all the ladies listening a bit of a quick intro into who you are and what you do in your business and in your life.
Kate: Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me here. I am a mum. And as you know, I wear all sorts of hats like so many of us. I’m a Kiwi and for the last few years, I’ve been living in Bali, running three businesses.
The main business, which is my baby, is all about women’s leadership. There’s a variety of ways in which I share that with women. So, I’ve got a huge big event called “She” which is Australia’s largest leading women’s leadership empowerment event. I freaking love what we’re up to and we’re just doing so many things that really light my heart on fire. I’m so aligned with what I want to share, during my lifetime, and you know, if I was to roll back the years, it was definitely not always that way.
I had real rock bottom moments then felt devastating hits. Like toe to toe with everything within myself to just take the next literal step. I’m not talking about a metaphorical step, I’m talking about a stick one foot in front of the other step. So, yeah, I really get excited about conversations around what’s possible for us because I know how easy it is to lock ourselves into an idea of who we are; in what’s possible and not possible for us. And to lock ourselves into all these little boxes. But life can be so freakin juicy beyond that.
Elley: Yes. Oh my god, I love that so much and it’s so true about the literal steps. I hear what you mean. There are so many women listening who can relate to that.
So, let’s go back to the very beginning, because like you said, you have three incredible businesses with your baby being “She,” which is one of the best events ever. I’m very excited to have you on for that reason. But I want to go back to the beginning of your journey and how you actually got into business. So, I wondered if you could share with us, what did that look like? Did you wake up one morning and think like, “Oh my god, I’m going to start a business.” Was it hitting rock bottom? Could you share a bit about that experience with you and what led you to business?
Kate: So, when I really looked back, I’ve always been super entrepreneurial. When I was a four-year-old, I had a little pram with vegetables in it, and I would walk up and down the street and go door to door to sell my veggies. My mom said that the neighbors would actually wait to buy veggies until my little pram came along.
So, I guess I’ve just always liked creating. Business, for me, it felt creative. It wasn’t about the money. It just felt super creative. And there was a real sense of empowerment, as opposed to having my own money from an earlier age. I don’t know really where that came from. But, you know, even as a teenager, I had cows and sheep that I would raise and, you know, send-off. I’m sorry for all the vegetarians out there, my daughter’s a vegetarian.
But you know, that was my thinking and I was always creative with making money. My mum and dad fell on really hard times in their life. And they had really gutsy natures, my parents. I remember one particular year, there was a show that came to our area and they couldn’t afford to send me there. So, I got $10 went to the show on my own. And then, as I was looking around, I saw on the ground that some tickets had fallen out of someone’s pocket. I picked them up and I remember thinking, this is like a perfect moment.
This always stood out to me. I remember thinking, “Hmm, I could go and jump on a ride, or can I go hop them off to someone the line for 50% off and earn some cash.” And I went and did it. I just went up to someone and said “Hey, you want these tickets for 50% off?” And I sold them. I was like, “Damn, baby!”
I spent the rest of the day looking around on the ground and I realized where are the places like underneath the roller coasters where people went upside down. So, I went with $10 that day and I came home about $86 bucks in my pocket. I had a frickin’ blast. And I went back the next day and made more cash.
I suppose I’ve just always had that creative DIY, do-it-yourself kind of spirit. And it feels empowering to be in the driver’s seat. Knowing that you know you can choose and create anything, as a woman. And that you’ve got your own resources to back that up and you get to be creative.
Just a couple of days ago, in five minutes I made the decision to go to Italy. My husband is in New Zealand at the moment and I send him a message like, “Hey Hon, I’m off to Italy for this thing.” And he’s like, “Sweet!” You know, because I never have to check in with anyone else because I just make whatever money I want to for the other things I want to do. When it came time to launching “She” it wasn’t a decision based on anyone else. It was, “I want to do this.” Now I’m going to go and back myself. You know it cost, we’re talking well over a quarter-million dollars to even as pull that off. So, to have that sense of “Yes, I can do it and I’ve got the goods,” is really incredible.
I suppose I’m sharing it with everyone here because it’s what’s possible for any of us is switching on something within us. It’s not getting to a place where you have more resources, or more permission, or more time, or more money. It’s actually an internal switch that you switch on.
So, I guess you know, to answer your question, I’m lucky that I switched on that possibility. Therefore when you have that you get to the end just see all the possibilities around you. We get smacked in the face with possibilities left, right, and center. And then we’re just insisting that we can’t. That I can’t. I didn’t have enough time and I didn’t have enough money. There’s not enough jobs out there. But actually, what if you stop insisting that? Life beyond that story can get quite interesting.
Elley: Yeah. Oh, yeah. That’s like the greatest answer ever. And it’s so true.
There is so much possibility nowadays, even just the fact that we have social media. That we have the internet. So many possibilities since dial-up internet, since it first came out it has been absolutely incredible. And it’s so true. It’s a matter of not “I can’t, I won’t blah, blah, blah.”
Well, that’s the thing. Most people say they can’t, but it’s actually that it’s just not a priority for them. And they’re just not ready for that.
So, I’d love for you to talk about the transition from when you first got into and I like you said you have a few businesses but if we speak specifically about your business around women’s leadership and empowerment and all of that. I can see your face light up when we talk about it. I’d love to pick your brain more a bit about this because I know from the very beginning when you first started it was just yourself. Now, you have 12 team members? Roughly 12 team members now. What does that transition look like? How long did it take building it from yourself up until now we’ve got this team? Could you share a bit about that part?
Kate: Great question. So, in a nutshell, and then I’m going to expand into it further. In a nutshell, it looks like commitment. It looks like creativity. And it looks like incremental-ness. So, it’s these three things.
Because when I first made the decision, which was 10 years ago, to build the epic, A-star team that was fully taking over everything, fully, fully, fully, so that I could just be solely in my zone of genius. Then when I made that decision was back at a point in my life when I was kept with my time and I was kept with my money.
I was a mom I had little kids I had a career. It was a big career. My initial career was flying around the country doing a lot of stuff for the government and also building up this business. I was like, Oh my god, I was stretched in a million freakin’ directions. And I’m saying that there are a lot of women out We’ve just got so much in our space. And so when we had that point, I had to, I had to step back and make some really quality decisions for myself. And one of the things was, I’m going to build a team. And I’m going to have an epic, large team that takes care of this. I’m going to actually delegate out everything. And I remember thinking I’m going to delegate out everything in my household I’m going to delegate out everything was cooking, cleaning, I’m going to delegate out during my here so actually have a hairdresser come to my house three times a week to blow dry my hear it like like I’m talking about like everything. I created it possibly the future of that. I was even thought I’m going to delegate out driving. I hired a driver for three months who drove me everywhere, so I could just be creatively in the backseat hated it. And I realized I liked being in the driver’s seat in more ways than one. But you know, everything else is delegated out and it was incremental and creative. So once I made that decision, In locked, and this is where we kind of have to have like a, you know, like a level of really backing ourselves and us in being willing to see a future beyond where our current circumstances are. Because if I looked at my current circumstances, it would have looked like you’re dreaming. Yeah, you are to say that you don’t, you don’t even have any time to build it. You don’t have any money to invest in someone, right? It was all of that, that I know everyone comes up with. But it was a decision to lock in that decision. And I wrote about that every day for years. Every single day, I wrote about the ultimate team that I would have had have everything delegated out, you know, and then as well as that, I had to ask myself, so where can I start with it now? Right. So sometimes people might give it first but they’re like, Okay, got it, done, deal, lock it in. But then they keep talking about it for years, and I’m not actually challenging themselves to make the tweaks now. was what can I do now? It’s going to like start just moving that ball down the hill. And so I looked at I was like, okay, so when I looked at, basically, I had to step back, right, we got to step out of the doing to actually make some decisions. I looked at all of the areas that my time was getting speed, as I was really fascinating. I’ve got all of the stuff that I’m doing some of it, yeah, really moves the needle. Some of it actually makes the biggest difference. Some of it makes it jacket difference. Some of it is stuff that I’m just doing for other people, and I’m just spinning my time, like overcompensating for other people. And some of it it’s just like lots of stuff like, you know, the cleaning and the vacuuming and stuff like that, and I think you will. So when I looked at I thinking, Well, this was the first question of where can I start now? And when I looked at and I sought vacuuming, and these kinds of things, and running around doing small errands, like well, how much can I employ someone to do that for? Right? I can employ someone begging for $20 An hour to do the small things. What is my hourly rate? If I really put a value on it, what is my hourly rate capacity? And at that point, and I didn’t actually have many clients, so I know that it’s catch 22 that a lot of people aren’t. So I had to ask myself again, or I came back to the drawing board, if it was possible, what are the ways in which you could bring in money at a higher rate now? anyway? Like, how could you just like have money coming to you? So that’s when I got creative. Yeah. And I thought, and I did my strategy, which is called the 100 ways our game. So I sit down, and I wrote hundred ways how I could bring in new money creatively. Yes, get creative. tried to keep it legal. Legal.
The thing is, we actually don’t get creative enough.
We don’t get creative enough. We just look in the box, we look at what everyone else is doing. And we’ll just keep recreating it. More the same, more the same, more the same, but if we want your results, we’re going to look at areas that we hadn’t looked in before. So in the hundred ways hack and one of the things I wrote down was Alicia distinctions and I’m not a beauty therapist. I was actually a nurse that was registered nurse I thought at that point in time I just violated seniors had just like had the world Yeah, it was expensive beaten down people wanted them and I was like damn, jumped on YouTube, learn how to do it jumped on eBay ordered the products online and so I thought I thought surely can’t be hard You know, you don’t them on the eyelashes. I’m going to get good at it and then I’m going to charge well, and so that’s what I did. And I just practiced my family my husband had Alicia distinctions for a moment there because had to practice on him. And it just started charging for for these eyelash extensions in once again thought literally, you know, where can I get it, put it up, put it up. Anyway, so I got I think, you know, for each client I had which is one hour, I could purchase three hours of housekeeping. You do the math on that it’s just leverage as leverage money. So the basically really fast I got 15 As a housekeeping insert this that didn’t freak me out that housekeeper did some errands and stuff like that freed me up of low value stuff that I then redirected into the higher value uses of my time. Yeah, repeat over the years is how I got to a team of 12.
You can follow Kate here:
- WEBSITE: https://katemareeobrien.com
- INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/katemareeobrien
- FREE TRAINING: https://katemareeobrien.com/training
Join The Empowered Entrepreneur Mastermind (or get on the waitlist) at https://elleymae.com/mastermind to *finally* become the CEO in your business (+ life!)
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