Establishing your own business when you leave the corporate world can be hard. Our guest today, Mary Henderson, is here to help you position your authority in anything you do. Mary had an amazing career in corporate IT and quickly climbed the ladder, but soon realized that her natural ambition was better suited to running her own business. In this episode, Mary joins Paul Higgins to discuss why 43% of white-collar workers will be consultants and freelancers in the future. She talks about focusing on what you are best at and finding your niche. She also discusses how you can automate your business so it runs without building a large team.
Listen to the podcast here:
How To Cut Through The Noise To Position Yourself As An Authority With Mary Henderson
Our guest is someone who had an amazing career in corporate IT and climbed the ladder incredibly fast but realized that she was too ambitious and she wanted to go out and create her own thing. She created an agency and it took her a while to find out who Mary is and what she’s best at. What she does is help other coaches and consultants do the same thing, stand out in a noisy world. What I’ll do now is hand you over to Mary Henderson from Mary Henderson Coaching.
Welcome, Mary Henderson.
How are you?
I’m fantastic and you?
I’m brilliant. Thank you for asking.
Why don’t we start with something that your family or friends would know about you that we won’t?
That’s easy. My voice is professionally trained from the age of 5 to about 20. In my early twenties, I had the same singing teacher as Tina Arena, so there you go. That’s something that no one knows but my family. I never pursued it as a career, but it’s become a big part of what I do now.
Were you a child prodigy?
I wouldn’t say that I was a child prodigy, probably a child troublemaker. The black sheep as I was called my whole life, which suits me perfectly as an adult. I know it’s something that was my natural gift. It’s nice when children can express that creative gift in a way that I did because it has absolutely helped me in what I do in a massive way.
When I go to the Philippines, I always dread karaoke because their worst singer over there is our absolute best singers here. Do you still grace the stage?
I have to make you laugh because my husband has an office in Hong Kong, so we have a lot of Asian friends in our circle. When they invite you into their home, they’ve got a full karaoke set up like it’s a serious business for them. I remember we were invited to this party that would have been 200 people with serious players in the corporate world. They said, “Mary, come and do karaoke.” You don’t have to ask me twice so I sang the KD Lang’s version of Hallelujah. I sang it and they were completely mesmerized. I was in the zone. In my mind, I was thinking that I’m on stage and I’ve got millions of people watching me and they wouldn’t stop with that. They were like, “We want more.” “Anyone that wants to get on a karaoke stage?” The answer is yes.
I know you’ve had a great start in corporate in Tech Pac and Belkin, etc., but why don’t you tell us about your corporate escapee story?
I hit the height of my career quickly in the tech industry and it kept on getting better and better. I started to see some gaps, especially when I was working at Belkin from a distribution standpoint. I realized that I’ve got this idea in my head. The president of our company who’s based in Los Angeles was in Australia and I said, “I’ve got this idea that I want to put on the table. What do you think?” He said, “I love this idea. Maybe we can roll it out and do a trial and we’ll see where it goes.” It never eventuated and I was too ambitious. I was one of those people in corporate that things were going from good to unbelievable.
When you leave the corporate world and you go into your own business, it's not until years later that you start to find who you truly are. Click To Tweet
For me to build businesses into double-digit millions became my normal. It wasn’t difficult for me to do that because I had a tried and tested formula. They didn’t support that idea, but I didn’t leave because of that. I left because I could see that I could do something and add value to the world with this particular idea. I left and I put this amazing business plan together that took me three months and off I go. As I say to people, “Me, my stilettos and I are knocking on doors to venture capitalists predominantly in Australia selling my idea.” Phil Cornish brought Vodafone into Australia and Vodafone bought it back from him.
He and I met a few times and we were talking about the idea and how we could raise capital, etc. He gave me some advice of which I took and that’s when I started my digital agency, which I never, ever thought I would ever do. I started my digital agency, which I had for years. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have gone down that path. However, nothing is a coincidence either so it’s helped me with where I’m at. That’s the reason why I left. The other thing is I was doing a lot of traveling. I was on an airplane twice a week, traveling international and I got to a point where I felt that I needed to find Mary. That was what I was looking for. Starting a digital agency, I thought I found Mary and I got a job. I didn’t find Mary at all. It was not after I merged my business that I found Mary. It’s interesting when you leave the corporate world and you go into your own business. It’s not until years later that you start to find who you truly are.
You talked about digital agencies and there are probably people now that are starting a digital agency. What advice could you give them given your experience?
I truly believe with any business, regardless of whether it’s a digital agency or not, it is to focus solely on what it is that you know for sure. It’s that one thing and become the master of that one thing. If you are in a digital landscape, or you’re starting a digital agency, be known for one thing. When I had my digital agency, we only service the academic industry, namely the university space. We built a bespoke web-based membership solution for universities. That’s it. I didn’t divert from that. We became the people to go to in the academic space. It was zoning in on a specific niche to be noticed. Otherwise, you’re about amongst the noise.
Was it easier or harder than you thought when making the jump?
It was hard and one of the things with my content, I bring a lot of truth to the table because I feel that we’re in an economy where anyone can become an expert and everyone is promising what it is that they don’t know for sure. What we have to realize is that most people don’t know anything for sure. They’re reading content on our website, a couple of personal development books or business books and suddenly they’re an expert. That is not what I’m talking about. When you transition over into your new business, it is hard work. It is a hustle literally 24/7. My biggest wakeup call was the day after I walked out of my corporate job. I went from 500 emails a day and my phone ringing nonstop to zero emails and no phone calls.
I got somebody to see if my phone worked. Is there something wrong with the phone because no one’s calling me?
That’s confronting, but the other thing is, and I want to say this is, it’s hard work. You have to hustle and you have to put yourself out there. You are the business. That’s it. That requires a massive headship when you realize that you are the business. You’re the marketing person and the PR. That’s a mind shift that you have to have to make that leap.
I completely agree with you about how hard it is. What help did you get to get you through those times? Was it from mentors or anyone that you got help from?
Yes. I had a lot of mentors, thankfully. I started my digital agency because I knew that I needed to belong to a tribe. That’s my only advice that I could give to anyone reading this. You have to immediately find a tribe, whereby you can run your ideas by and get feedback. Feedback is data. What I did is I reached out to all of the associations in Australia that fell under IT or digital. I put my hand up and said, “I’d love to join the chapter in Victoria,” or “What’s happening in this space? How can I be involved?” Lo and behold, the AIMIA, which is an association for the Australian industry. It’s one of the digital associations in Australia. They happen to be voting for a new chapter and a board in Victoria, of which I became the chairperson. It was awesome because it opened up the doors. It opened up a dialogue and it gave me a connection into government poll, which meant that I was having a dialogue in government and having a much broader discussion with a lot of people in the digital landscape who were experts in what they did. That for me was an important aspect of me growing, but also being a part of a much bigger discussion.
The next section is the Build section. When someone says, “Mary, what do you do now?” How do you best describe that?
It’s interesting because I merged everything that I’ve done. My past has now become my present. I essentially help coaches, consultants, business owners and corporate executives who are obviously transitioning to find their personal brand. We convert their expertise into a business solution that solves a complex problem so they can position themselves as an authority in their niche, the industry and social media. That’s a big point, so that’s what I do.
What do you know about this that few others don’t?
My personal branding methodology is now an algorithm and I discovered that in the year 2000 when I started working at Tech Pacific. I realized the power of personal branding when I was managing the calls in my business and they were about to pull their business away from Tech Pacific, which is now called Ingram Micro, over to our competitor. At my first meeting, the decision-maker didn’t show up and here I am walking out of that meeting and thinking, “What am I doing to do?” It was a declining $8 million business. I walk into the lift with my red snakeskin boots and there was a woman standing in the lift who was the decision-maker. She commented on my red boots and I said, “I use such and such.” She said, “Yes.” We went downstairs, had a coffee, and the rest is history.
The story of the red boots is a big deal because that was my conversation starter with her and because of those red boots, I was able to negotiate what I needed from her in order for me to get the results that I needed. That was to solve a major complex problem, which I did. I used that to position myself in the industry as the person that can solve big complex problems in IT. That’s how I built my career. That idea around personal branding, I implemented that in my entire sales team. I converted my sales team into personal brands and threw the job descriptions out.
I match the level of their passion. I emerged their passion and what they knew for sure and match that to a client portfolio. What we had is we had these people in their natural state working with clients that they knew that they could work with and solve their problems. We built the broken business from a $4 million business into a $54 million business in 48 months. Tech Pac, it was a declining $8 million. I grew that from $8 million to $22 million in eighteen months, because in this notion around personal branding, I thought that everyone knew how to do that, but they don’t. I mastered that craft along the way because I kept using it, getting feedback, refining it, etc.
It’s become a full algorithm, so my personal branding is scientific. It’s used as building blocks to overlay that over digital assets, your website, your online course, LinkedIn, etc. The digital side is another element that I plug into my business because that’s my background and my love. We have done a website online course and an opt-in page when people work with me because I don’t want my clients spending time on the tech stuff. We can do that easily and effortlessly. What I’ve done is I’ve been able to merge my passion, my two loves together, which has now become my vocation. This is what I meant to be doing in the world, so it’s awesome to wake up every day and know that.
In social media, I know that you’re prolific on LinkedIn. What are some killer tips that you’ve got in particular on LinkedIn and how people can leverage that?
LinkedIn, from my standpoint, is a gift from heaven. I’m serious when I say that. If anyone is reading this who is transitioning from corporate to consultancy or you’re in that space right now, LinkedIn needs to be used strategically and deliberately. They are the two keywords. It’s not about sharing anything. You have to be strategic and deliberate. You have to know who you’re targeting and show those people content that will be of absolute value to them. The way I use LinkedIn is I run my content in the form of a series. I see my brand as a media company. That’s how I see myself. I’m running a TV show called Mary Henderson and I have every week a seven-day series. In that series, it is strategic and deliberately designed because I am targeting specific people that I know will find my content of value. It’s not a coincidence while I get such massive engagement in my post. You’ve seen my engagement. It’s hundreds and hundreds and sometimes even over 1,000 comments because the content is rich and it’s of value to them.
There are a lot of people saying, “I’d love to do video, but I don’t like the way I look on camera,” or “I’m self-conscious.” You seem so natural and I know you’ve been doing it since five on that stage but what advice would you give to someone that can’t get on the road of themselves to get in front of the camera?
I’m glad you asked this question because I have a whole complete view on this. Video is not for everybody. We have to accept that. Not everyone can stand in front of a video like I can or you can and feel amazing in front of a camera. I do it naturally because that’s my natural state of being. I follow people on LinkedIn that are unbelievable storyteller through words, not video at all. I stop and I read those posts because I love the way those people can articulate themselves. They are equally as powerful as my videos.
My advice is if you like video and you think and know that your message can be far better articulated through video, do slides and voiceovers over images. That’s still okay. You can still get your message across from that way. In other words, you’re creating micro movies. If your strength is writing, use writing as your way of posting because video is not for everyone. I understand that video is powerful, but I’m not going to force any of my clients to stand in front of a camera if they can’t do it. There are other ways of articulating your message on LinkedIn that is powerful. Articles and podcasts are another way. There are so many different mediums that we have access to. There’s no excuse.
I’m thinking a lot of people reading are probably having a deep breath. Personally, I love audio. For me, it’s podcasting and every time I try to do video, it doesn’t work as well. It’s advice that I will take and run with. For you, you’ve created an awesome business, but where does it go? In the next three years, what’s next for Mary?
I want to start off by saying to everybody, and this is important when you’re starting off in your business, always be on version 10.0. Don’t ever worry about someone stripping your content, taking it and using it and calling it their own. Get out of that mindset immediately. That’s the first thing I want to say. When I look at my business, I’m always looking at, “Where can I take this to five years from now?” I’m already thinking of version 10.0 of Mary Henderson. Where I want to go now is I want to go back to the academic space. I want to create a product around my personal branding algorithm that I believe needs to go back into academia. The way that the content in universities especially in business schools doesn’t work in this economy. For me, it’s taking my content and sharing it at a much bigger level. That’s what I’m working on.
We can’t wait to see that event. I completely understand and my children are about to finish school and going to university. Having something like that in the curriculum would be brilliant. It’s a raw life skill that will live on. Around your business model and improving the profitability of it, how do you go about improving the profitability of your business?
Anyone that has seen IT will understand that every IT company has a channel strategy. I run my company exactly like that. I don’t have a one-way revenue model, which is what a lot of the high-ticket guru coaches teach. They are all selling this notion that you have a sales funnel, you get people in, you have a phone call, and you close the sale. That is a dead-end and that model doesn’t work. The model that’s required is a multi-channel model and that is how big businesses run.
We're in an economy where anyone can become an expert and everyone's promising what it is that they don't know for sure. Click To Tweet
If you’re going to go down to the consulting part, you have to think like a big business, not like a little business that you’re working out of your bedroom. That’s the wrong mindset. The channel strategy is critical. I’ve got my one-to-one business, my online group coaching, my corporate workshops, my brand ambassador program and my certification course that I’m about to launch. That’s five different revenue streams and channels that I’m using. Also, my paid speaking circuit. There’s a whole heap of things that are coming in, which is important. As a consultant, let me remind everyone, if you guys are not reading research and white papers to understand the landscape, you will fail.
The reality is 43% of the white-collar professional services industry will convert into consultants and freelancers. That is a fact. It’s not going away. It’s happening now. That’s why we’re having an epidemic in that C-Suite space. You need to understand that there is a big opportunity for everyone who wants to transition into the consulting world but you have to have the mindset of big business because you are competing with other big businesses. Keep that in mind. When I’m talking to HR or to a CEO, believe me, I’ve got the big guys that are also bringing their ideas and solutions to the table as I am. This single person is competing with a big corporate. That’s normal now, so it’s getting a channel strategy in place. That works.
I agree, coming from Coca-Cola where we have probably the most advanced channel strategy in the world of any other company. It’s more than 100 years so I completely get it and understand it. For someone that might be reading that’s left, where do you start on that? What do you think the best departure point is as you build that portfolio or that channel strategy?
Before you even build a channel strategy, you have to know what you can bring to the table in terms of a tried and tested solution. You have to get a whiteboard marker and stand in front of a whiteboard and unpack what you know for sure. Get and solidify that solution so when you’re talking to people and they ask you what you do, you’re not giving them the 45-minute version of what you do. You’re giving them the ten-second version of what you do. That’s key. That’s number one. When you can articulate what you do, everything else starts from that point onwards. From there, you need to design a solution around that methodology.
You can’t walk into a corporate with a business card and a notebook. It doesn’t work like that. You have to take the client or the prospect through a journey. This is where you start with me, this is what I promise, this is how I do it and these are the outcomes. That is the best starting point. You have clarity on what you do for sure and it is niche. Narrow in on one area of expertise only and everything else that you can do plugs into that. Get clear on what you can bring to the table first and foremost.
In your team, who supports you, Mary?
I’ve got a web team that supports me. They do all of the digital stuff and a lot of the day-to-day stuff. I run my own business. My whole business is automated, so I don’t have a team of twenty. I have a team of three, so we’re only small. The only time that I needed is physically on interviews like this or when I’m doing my face to face meetings.
What do you run? What are some of the systems you use to automate it?
My whole website and online courses run on the web WordPress platform. We use OptimizePress for my online course and we’ve got all the systems. Automated SamCart as the middleware to accept payments that link into Stripe that links into my email system, which gets a response. My schedule is all automated, which I use ScheduleOnce. It’s narrowing down and taking as much pressure away from me throughout the day. On my opt-in page, I use ClickFunnels, which is connected to my email responder, which is then connected to my scheduler. Everything is interconnected. It doesn’t require me at all.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in getting into it and certainly if you go down the path of that academic space?
It’s cutthroat. There’s so much noise in the marketplace. You know that. It’s getting the cut through. My keyword is consistency. This is an important word. If I show up every day and I’m consistent in not what I bring to the table, but how I present my content, you know that when you’re scrolling through LinkedIn and you see a video, you know it’s me because you’re used to that look and style. Consistency is the key not only on LinkedIn but also showing up physically in the world. The challenge is, how do I become the best personal branding expert in the world? How do I do that? That’s a multi-pronged approach. There are so many touchpoints that I need to touch to get to that end result. That’s the big picture.
The other thing is I’m a huge planner. If I could give this advice to people, the only way that I create my success is I am a crazy planner to the point where I’ve designed a planner that all my clients get that works in tandem with my curriculum. It’s so strategically designed that they break down macro into micro, so I know every day what I need to do to achieve that end goal. The challenge is I have to be on my business and in my business every single day. I’m a human, I have a family. I’ve got two boys, I run a household, I’m a wife and a daughter. It’s also managing the human side of me. That’s my biggest challenge.
What are you doing to help solve that?
That’s why I have to plan everything, because if I don’t plan, I would be absolutely chaotic. I know every day what I need to do to mark it off my list so I can be in control of my day. Otherwise, my day will control me. That’s an important thing. The other thing that I do is spend time with Mary every day, even if it’s ten minutes. I write in my journal. I write my thoughts and how I feel. If I’m feeling frustrated, I will document that and write it, “I’m feeling frustrated. I don’t know what to do. I need answers. Show me how.” It’s like I’m having a conversation with another part of me that I can’t see or touch but it’s such a cathartic thing for me. I do spend time with myself.
Before we go on to the next section, I’d like to mention our YouTube channel called Build, Live, Give. You get great tips to help corporate escapees like Mary to rapidly grow. Please subscribe and share with other corporate escapees so we can help them and also read until the end because I’ve got three great summary tips on this excellent conversation with Mary. The next question Mary in the Live section is, what are some of your daily habits other than the planning that you do to help you be successful?
I definitely start my day with a strong coffee. My three habits are the first thing is that I make sure that I’m seen on social media every day. That’s an important part of my strategy. The other thing is I need to make sure that I have 10 to 15 face to face meetings every week without fail because I understand my metrics and my metrics don’t lie. I know how many people I need to meet each month to close X amount of sales to meet my financial goal. Face to face meetings are absolutely critical for any consultant. You cannot rely on creating relationships through your message section on LinkedIn, email, or Facebook. You will fail. It’s as simple as that.
Face to face is a whole new level, so that’s the other thing that I do. The other thing is, this is key and I learned this when I first started my business over the years, especially spending a lot of time on Facebook, advertising and things of that nature, is feedback. Feedback is data. Don’t walk away from it. Don’t deny any data that comes your way. The more data and feedback you get, the more you can refine your offer and how you show up in the world. It’s important. I massage my data. I take notice of it. I always read the comments in my LinkedIn because I can read between the lines and I get a lot of information from that. Data is key to your success in this digital economy.
Quickly on LinkedIn, other than the comments, what are the key things you measure in LinkedIn?
The easiest thing to measure is how many people send you a message from your post. That’s the first measurement. If people are sending you messages going, “I love your video,” you’re on the right track. When I woke up, I had fifteen messages from my video in my inbox. I haven’t answered any of them. The other thing is when you start getting other influences on LinkedIn reaching out to you, you’re doing something right, but you have to show up every single day. The content needs to be in context. It’s easy. Make your content in context with the people you want to take notice of you. That’s it. That’s how I measure my metrics on LinkedIn. My metrics are straightforward but if I’m getting feedback through messaging or people want to talk to me. That’s a good sign.
You talked about face to face. Is that physical face to face or does that also include Zoom or other platforms?
Both. Even in the way I use LinkedIn to create my face to face as a whole strategy there as well that I have. For me to get ten meetings a week is easy. I could even do twenty if I wanted to, but I’ve got to manage my week. The face to face with me is unbelievably powerful. Zoom is equally as powerful because I speak to a lot of people in the US and I speak to a lot of people in Australia. As far as I’m concerned, whether it’s Zoom face to face or physical, it’s exactly the same.
If you’re going to be the best in the world of personal branding, you can’t do face to face only in person. Richard, your husband, I know he’s been a huge supporter of you. He’s reading this. What would you say to him about the support he’s giving you?
I don’t think that I could do what I’m doing now if he didn’t support me. That’s the honest truth. When you transition from a massive corporate paid salary and that stops, you do need a partner that can say, “I hear you.” I remember his words when I decided to transition out of corporate, “I can’t stop you if your time has arrived to bring an idea into the world.” I thought that was pretty courageous for a human being to be able to do that. He’s supporting me the whole way. He has opened the gateway and has allowed me to grow as a person without any interruptions or demands. That’s been a real gift and most importantly, I’m allowed to be me. I can be in my own space and not have to be the wife, mother or daughter. I can be Mary when Mary needs to be Mary. He gives me that space. It’s important and it’s a partnership. It has to be a give and take.
The next section is the Give section. What’s a charity or community that you’re passionate about and why?
I love to support women in business. I’ll be honest. I am a massive advocate for women in corporate and also women out of corporate. I was listening to an interview on LinkedIn and I resonated with this woman. This woman said, “I don’t know why all these people are wanting to empower women. Why do we need to empower women? Women are already powerful.” She uses the example of if somebody tries to take a child away from a woman, you’re messing with the wrong person. That woman doesn’t need empowering at that moment. That woman will use all of her power to protect that child. That’s my philosophy around women. We already are powerful.
We already have what it takes, not only women but all of us, specifically, women because we’ve bought into this idea from the Industrial Revolution that we need to be in the kitchen and cook and be this and that. I don’t buy into any of that at all. I have no interest in that, although I do love cooking. The point is I have got something to bring to the table and I want to be able to show other women that if I can do it, so can you. I don’t support a charity, but I do a lot of talks around that topic.
Feedback is data. Don't walk away from it because data is key to your success in today's digital economy. Click To Tweet
The last section is the Action section. What I’ll do is ask you questions and get quick, rapid-fire responses. The first one is what are your top three productivity tips?
You need to be strategic, deliberate and passionate are my three tips.
You mentioned some great apps that you use but what other apps or software do you use in your business other than the ones you’ve mentioned?
The ones that I cannot live without?
What’s on your phone that you have to have?
If you want to look good in front of the video, I like a professional studio setup, which is what I have. I can’t live without my Teleprompter. If you’re thinking that I look amazing in front of a video, I’m going to give you a secret, I do use a teleprompter, which is on my phone. It’s awesome so you can paste your content on there and read in front of the camera.
What’s it called? Can you remember the name of the app?
It’s called Teleprompter. That’s a key one. That’s all I use as an app. I don’t use anything else. Everything else I use is my normal camera. The only other app that I use online is my online schedule which most people have now. I use ScheduleOnce for that. I can’t think of anything right now but it’s the general and Zoom for my online meetings. To be honest with you, that’s as basic as it gets. Everything else is automated. My payment system is automated with Stripe and SamCart, which is my middleware and my email system, which is Get Response.
What podcasts other than your own do you love to listen to?
I don’t listen to too many but what I do have on my phone is TED Talks Daily because I love TED and anything to do with TED Talks. Humans 2.0 with Mike Metry. I love that. The Mentor List and The Mentor, Mark Bouris’ podcast. Entrepreneur Stories and 10 Minute Mindset is another one that I’ve got on my podcast. That’s about all I’m listening to and yours as well.
The last question is, what’s the impact that you want to leave on the world?
I want to be able to teach how all of us can package our expertise and stand out in the crowd and become their own business. Everybody can do that because everything we need is already inside of us. It needs to be unpacked, which is exactly what I’ve designed in my personal branding algorithm. It’s exactly designed to do that. It’s designed to go in at a deep cellular level, pull everything out, use that to get out into the world and bring your craft to the tribe of people that I believe have been assigned to each one of us. That’s my legacy.
You can find out more about Mary and how to position yourself as an authority with her LinkedIn profile. Mary, I’d love to thank you for coming. I love getting your daily videos on LinkedIn. If you haven’t seen them, please go and connect with Mary and follow her. There are lots of inspiration there. Thanks for helping people make that transition from corporate by getting down to what they’re best at, and most importantly, how you sum that up in ten seconds. You’re brilliant at doing that and thanks for doing what you do.
Thank you, Paul. Thank you for doing what you do too. I appreciate you.
That was an amazing interview with Mary. She gave so much rich content. It was hard to pick three things, but here I go. The first one is focus on what you are best at. Hyper niche, it’s so important to do that. The second is you don’t have to do video. You can use the method that you love the best. The third thing is be consistent. Whatever you do, be consistent. Be consistent on social media. I’d love to know what you got out of this brilliant interview with Mary. Email me at [email protected]. Also, if you know other corporate escapees or people that are looking to escape corporate, please share this with them because I know they’ll get enormous value out of this great interview with Mary.
- Mary Henderson Coaching
- Mary Henderson
- LinkedIn – Mary Henderson
- Build, Live, Give – YouTube Channel
- Get Response
- TED Talks Daily
- Humans 2.0
- The Mentor List
- The Mentor
- Entrepreneur Stories
- 10 Minute Mindset
- [email protected]
About Mary Henderson
Mary is an internationally recognized Personal Branding Expert who knows how to commercialize a Personal Branding into a monetizable online (and offline) business. She is a speaker and author of a number of fictional & non-fictional books and the founder of Lights Cameras Action – an end to end online coaching program exclusively designed for coaches, consultants, startups and business owners that take them from idea to productization and monetization in months.
Mary helps service-driven experts unpack & define their area of expertise into a Personal Brand so they can position themselves as an authority in their industry and social media by creating a bespoke business solution or methodology so they target a specific market or industry, deliberately and strategically. She is regularly invited to speak to leaders & decision-makers in the corporate landscape on why positioning their customer-facing people and senior executives from job titles to Personal Brands impacts their culture and bottom line in a positive way.
Mary has had 18 years of experience building Personal Brands & businesses for others and herself into multi-million dollar empires. During her tenure in the corporate sector, she managed large sales teams, overachieved financial targets year on year and month on month and penetrated into new markets and industries. She has been featured in many publications and has been regarded as a thought leader in the technology sector. She was also the President of AIMIA Victoria. In 2005, Mary started her digital agency – GeekIT that specialized in developing online membership systems for the academic sector, namely Universities and built it into a successful 7 figure digital agency. In 2012 she merged her company with a leading design agency & decided to step out of the corporate sector altogether and have “time out” and enjoy motherhood for a while.
It wasn’t long before Mary started to get restless and ask that all-important question “ What Am I Going To Do For The Rest Of My Life?” In her quest to find answers, she took on the biggest challenge of her life. She reverse-engineered her entire life (from birth) and her new discoveries lead her to three-year full-time research into the why & how of human behavior.
In that time, Mary was mentored by some of the world’s finest academics, TED Speakers, Authors and Experts in the Mind-Body Field. She was adamant to find answers on topics such as beliefs, behaviors, emotions, goal setting, success, failure, and a lot more. Mary also discovered something very profound during this period. She realized the success she created in the multinational corporations she worked for could not be replicated after she left (by others) and this led her to a profound discovery. Mary realized that she had a profound gift to unpack skills and gifts in people, create personal brands and implement business models from start to implementation. She knew there and then that the areas in her life that she found natural when combined together, would become her vocation.
This has made her one of the foremost unique coaches in the world because Mary combines business, digital & personal branding models based on a carefully considered and well thought through methodology that provides a start to implementation solution. Mary believes that any form of coaching that does not provide a start to finish implementation plan is just mere philosophy and for this reason, her coaching style is designed to reverse engineer key areas in order to get to the end goal.
Mary approaches success from end to the beginning where most people focus on the beginning to end. Her coaching program is world-class where she uses technology (in a big way) that she has developed with custom-built algorithms to fast track her clients’ progress. Mary’s process is threefold. First, the focus is on unpacking the clients ‘unique story’ (Gifts, abilities, skills, values, traits) to unpack and define their Personal Brand. Secondly, unpack the ‘business idea’, create a framework & implement a total solution from start to implementation and thirdly, reverse engineer the financial goal to determine how many leads need to be generated at a micro level to deliberately meet the end goal.
Mary has embraced the arenas of technology and social media, and her followers are growing daily. Now, she shares this knowledge with audiences all over the world. In Mary’s true words….“It has been a long journey decoding scientific white papers, sorting out real truths from generally acknowledged “truths”, implementing the knowledge and then experiencing it has really been worth it”, she says enthusiastically. “Finding out what actually works and what doesn’t, and now being able to assist others applying this knowledge to themselves, while finally watch them turn their lives around in ways they did not think would have been possible initially .. to me, it doesn’t get much better than that”.
Mary is a heart-centered, compassionate and tenacious entrepreneur who is a strategic leader and loves sharing her knowledge and witnessing people fulfill their dreams.
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