Business lessons a budgie can teach you

It will surprise and enlighten you where you can pick up salient business lessons. KIRSTY DUNPHEY

Kirsty Dunphey

By Kirsty Dunphey

So… I’ll share something personal with you: I’m afraid of birds… there, I said it. And to try and wean me off my fear my husband and I got ourselves a baby budgie a few months ago.

After bursting into tears the first time he flew too close to my head (and then into a window), I can proudly say I’ve grown some, and am now slightly less afraid of birds in general.

In fact our new little blue-grey budgie Walt is a constant companion of mine these days, so I thought I’d use him as inspiration for this (albeit light hearted) post on the business lessons a budgie can teach you:

Preening is important

You only get one chance to… that’s right… make a first impression. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m at my happiest in Peter Alexander PJ pants and ugg boots and while (much to Walt’s disgust) I’ll sometimes wear them to the supermarket, each of us has to know when it’s time to put on our fancy feathers.

Whether it’s the job interview you really want to rock, the client you’re looking to impress, or dinner with the future parents-in-law, there’s a time and a place for some good old fashioned preening.

Walt suggests: That you should also remember not to go overboard on the preening (a full face of make-up at the gym is just kinda strange).

Sing a song

If you’re happy and you know it… sing a song. Walt’s singing along to some very dodgy pop music at the moment and he’s as happy as Julius*. People love to interact, work with, promote and generally be around happy people. No, you can’t be happy all the time, but when you are, project it and get it out there.

Walt suggests: Limiting the actual physical act of singing to your car, cage or shower (singing in buses, busy office places and elevators is also kinda strange but not as strange as this.

Get what you want

Don Burke tells me that budgies have feathers on their cheeks and the crowns of their heads which reflect ultraviolet light and the little critters use these to find and attract mates.

In the business world, what are your ultraviolet feathers? I think they’re your skills and talents and the parts of your service that mean that you got that extra centimetre further than your competitors.

Walt suggests: That while budgies use these gorgeous feathers to court and flirt, humans may want to try finding out a girl’s shoe size and buying her a pair of Manolos (Walt watches too much Sex and the City).

Sometimes someone who loves you may have to poo on you

It’s true, my lovely little Walt leaves fabulous little deposits on me every now and then (which is why my head is no longer an approved landing post).

In your life you’ll encounter people who will leave their own deposits on you; some are doing it because they’re simply full of “deposits”, but others do it for your own good. The boss who pushes you outside your comfort zone is one example. It may be tough right now, but eventually you’ll be a bigger and better person for it.

Walt suggests: That if you can learn business lessons from a budgie – where can’t you learn them!

* Julius is a friend’s budgie and a happy little man indeed


Kirsty Dunphey is one of Australia’s most publicised young entrepreneurs and is the founder of – a tool to help real estate agents create advertisements. The youngest ever winner of the Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year award, Kirsty started her first business at 15, her own real estate agency at 21, was a self-made millionaire at 23 and a self-made multi-millionaire at 25. For more information on Kirsty or either of her books – Advance to Go, Collect $1 Million and Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can, or to sign up to her weekly newsletter head to:

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