professional development

How to have it all: An inspiring story

Engel Schmidl /

I sat, perched on the edge of my seat, hands clasped together, eyes downturned and, if I’m fair, a bead of sweat glancing across my forehead.

The nerves and anticipation I felt as I sat willing with every fibre in my body for my business partner, the amazing Megan Hampton, to have her name called out at the Tasmanian Business Women’s Awards was 10 times that which I felt when I sat in her seat myself a decade ago.

This year, however, it wasn’t Megan’s year for the glory of the win – but I could not be more proud of her for being named as a finalist in two categories for Tasmania. She is a shining example of someone who has committed herself to growth and continued learning as she’s gone from being a complete real estate newbie to an amazing property manager to now owning her own real estate business (luckily – with me!) over the past years.

Her development has been nothing short of staggering and, add to that, she took the leap of business ownership for the first time while she was seven months pregnant; well, it’s no wonder I had tears in my eyes when I described my admiration for her in a referee call for the Telstra awards.

Even more of a compliment to Megan? The woman whose name was called out instead of hers. Partner in a Launceston accounting firm, Lucinda Mills was a stranger to me before the awards luncheon and yet I could see why she was a very deserving winner in the category Megan was in with her, but also why she won the overall award on the day.

These words sprang to mind when I heard her speech.


For me, when I hear someone speak there’s always one thing above others that stays with me. From Lucinda’s talk it was to ask for help. She spoke about the amazing support she’d had from family in her attempt to “have it all” – a flourishing career, an amazing marriage, travel and to be a great mum.

Ask for help.

I’ve often thought that this has been the hardest challenge for me since becoming a mum (who still wants to build amazing businesses). I’ll happily delegate, don’t get me wrong. But ask for help? Admit I can’t do it all? I rarely had to do it before I became a mum to my gorgeous girl last year.

Now, sometimes I need to ask for help just to go to the toilet on my own without a toddler clinging to my leg! As someone who has always been incredibly independent, asking for help is hard for me. Maybe it is for you too.

But now, for me, if I want to have it all, if I want to be everything I’m capable of being, I need to ask for help. I need to not be afraid to ask for help. I need to surround myself with people who want to help me. I need to want to help them in return so that the relationship is synergistic.

Thank you Lucinda Mills for the reminder – congratulations on your success at these awards and for the role model you are to me and no doubt now, countless others. Thank you to Megan Hampton, someone I am so fortunate to have as a friend, confidant, business partner and role model. And congratulations to each and every woman who inspired someone enough that they nominated you for a Telstra Business Women’s Award this year – you are all incredible!

Kirsty Dunphey is the youngest ever Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year, author of two books (her latest release is Retired at 27: If I Can do it Anyone Can) and a passionate entrepreneur who started her first business at age 15 and opened her own real estate agency at 21.

Now Kirsty does lots of fun things which you can read about here. Her favourite current projects are Elephant Property, a boutique property management agency, Baby Teresa, a baby clothing line that donates an outfit to a baby in need for each one they sell and ReallySold, which helps real estate agents stop writing boring, uninteresting ads.



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