In these times like no other, you have to be willing to take chances, make mistakes and be clear about your goals.
In celebration of International Women's Day on Monday, March 8, Newcastle business adviser and podcaster Laura Higgins is launching a special podcast featuring influential Australian women offering their take on what it's like to be an ambitious woman in business.
Higgins, who runs a small business consultancy, Lala Social Club, launched her podcast, My Business Playbook, in January. Right there, in her first 14-minute podcast, she admits "I fumbled my way into this industry".
Working in the coffee roasting industry (for Glee), she was encouraged to help with sales, which did not come naturally. But it grew into working in social media, and running their instagram account, and she soon switched to running her business, managing social media and content creation.
"The thing that gave me an edge: I was permanently learning," she says on that first podcast. "I only learned by doing. It was all practical. Do this, and get results. The more I learn what works and what doesn't."
Women want to be able to pick their kids up from school, and make the same amount of money.Laura Higgins
When the pandemic lockdown hit in 2020, Higgins lost half her clients overnight. But, she persisted, pushing on with plans for film a one-day business course that she had already booked the venue for.
"We needed to film this course," she says. "Small businesses need it more than ever, they need online marketing. It was a crazy whole way of making a course and launching it online. It ended up being the perfect time - people were freaking out about their businesses - 'I don't know if I'm going to make it through this!' Being able to move online was the saviour for a lot of these businesses. I don't think it will stop."
Higgins says what she offers appeals to a female-leaning audience.
"They are women who are realising, 'I don't want to go back to the corporate world. Naturopaths, health coaches, people in fitness, finance - a broad range. The common theme: they want freedom. Women want to be able to pick their kids up from school, and make the same amount of money; they want a balance of lifestyle."
"The other part of audience is people who want to build an online business. Sell courses, digital products, monetise an online brand."
The My Business Playbook podcast launching on March 8 features Robyn King (Canva), Kara Demmrich (Kyal and Kara), and Shelley Johnson and Emily Bowen (My Millennial Career podcast).