Success with attitude, 2008-style

If you can get one tip from an event, it has been worthwhile. I recently got a sackful. KIRSTY DUNPHEY

Kirsty Dunphey

By Kirsty Dunphey

We recently held a motivational/business style conference in my home town of Launceston. It’s the fifth year we’ve held it and it was a huge success again.

Each year I find I learn some really valuable lessons, not only from the speakers (who are always fantastic), but also just from helping put together the event with my co-organising superstars Ronald, Rob and Tim.

This year’s lessons for me were:

1. Marketing creativity doesn’t have to cost much more than a thought. When I walked two of our speakers to their rooms I was surprised to find that they’d been upgraded to gorgeous suites.

When I thanked the manager Rod for this he said there was no need to thank him. By upgrading these VIPs to suites they’d leave with a more favourable impression of his venue and hopefully tell others. Clever but simple, Rod – I love it!

2. To rethink what I consider fundamental business skills. Our speakers this year were more diverse than ever. We had John Anderson (NZ: founder of Contiki), Justin Herald (Aust: who turned $50 into a multi million dollar business with Attitude) and Ron White (USA: Mr. Memory).

Someone said to me prior to the event “what does memory have to do with business?” so I’m glad they were in the audience to hear Ron White meet over 50 people prior to the event and then rattle off each of their names from memory many times over during the evening. As Ron pointed out, if you’re the sales person, business owner or receptionist who can meet someone once and then see them again six months later and know their name, their hobbies and their kid’s name, you’re far more likely to win their business. (See what Ron’s amazing Memory in a Month.)

3. When someone’s heart is really behind a topic, their emotion can impact even more than the words they’re saying. John Anderson is one of the more emotional speakers I’ve heard and I was blown away by the reaction our audience had to a couple of his stories about his wife, some of Contiki’s more challenging times and what he does when he sees a Contiki bus now after having sold the company.

4. There are all sorts of ways to get things done and this fact was made obvious by John Anderson and Justin Herald. Both have phenomenal business stories to tell, but the two couldn’t be more different. It reminded me that when I see a Trump or a Packer and think, oh wow, I’m nothing like them, there’s hope for me and for every other unique entrepreneur out there to do things their own way.

5. Think before you speak. This one’s a bit of a personal lesson for me. I like to think I’m kind of funny sometimes and I said something to someone at the event which I found hilarious, but that wasn’t at all necessary – Oh Kirsty! I thought I’d outgrown this at age 16, but it seems as though I’m still a work in progress… aren’t we all though!?

6. Clichés often ring true. When I attended my first ever speaking event/conference I was told by a mentor that all I had to do was to take away one lesson from the event and I’d made my money’s worth.

Since that time I’ve sat in the audiences of some of the world’s finest and most acclaimed speakers (Tony Robbins, Denis Waitley, Les Hill, Seth Godin) and I’ve also sat in the audience of speakers you may not have heard of but who I consider to be world class (Marcelle Bernard, Ron Lee the corporate ninja, David Knox, Rick DeLuca, Eric Bailey, Anne McKevitt (see here for a longer list) and I’ve learnt something valuable and powerful at almost every event I’ve ever been to, often worth 10 times more than the price of admission.

If you haven’t heard a speaker live on stage recently, get looking for an event to get your teeth stuck into! And if you can’t afford to see someone live, check out and for some amazing keynotes online.

And that’s my wrap up for Success with Attitude 2008, our fifth, certainly not our last, and absolutely one of my favourites!

Also: If you’re holding an event anywhere in the world, Ron White, Justin Herald and John Anderson are some of the most insightful and entertaining speakers you could choose from. I’d be happy to put you in contact with any of them, just contact me if you’d like me to do so.


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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