My humble little business has reached a significant milestone this month – Mastermind Consulting is now five years old. Yes, it’s been that long, and there’s reason to celebrate as the journey has been exhilarating, to say the least.
From as early as I can remember, I held grand career aspirations – at high school I wanted to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Australia (not just a lawyer). For a while I had my heart set on being Australia’s first female Prime Minister and then when I started my career in the world of Financial Services at BT Funds Management and Macquarie Bank, success was defined by seniority of roles. I scored a spot in a prestigious graduate program having received first class honours at university, and even after shifting from financial services to the wine industry, the marketing director role was firmly a career aspiration.
Like many women on steep career trajectories, my world changed radically when I fell pregnant with my first child (and much sooner than I expected once we started trying!). Then at four months pregnant, I was made redundant deciding not to make the move to Melbourne with the Foster’s marketing team. I LOVED my brands, and successfully moving my career from finance to the wine industry had taken so long to achieve, so leaving the corporate world behind not an option i’d ever really considered. With no idea about what the future held, I ventured into the world of motherhood.
Owning my own business was never on my radar but the demand was there to help wineries with marketing and offer strategic advice (which i love doing most). I’ve never been good at not working, so with the support of my family I began to work part-time (often while my newborn daughter was sleeping) and before you knew it, in 2008 Mastermind Consulting was born.
The vision for Mastermind Consulting was simple – to help wineries connect with their customers through innovative marketing. It’s been a real privilege to be able to work with so many brands on campaigns that have ranged from new product development, strategy development, innovation, web launches and more recently helping with strategy, training and execution to help demystify social media and make plans that connect with consumers.
SOME PROUD ACHIEVEMENTS:
- I’ve loved being able to spread the word about social media and help businesses understand more about these platforms and how to use in their business. I’ve done countless training sessions, conference presentations (like at Wine Outlook Conference, Coonawarra Regional Winemakers) and organised tours like Wine Communicator’s of Australia social media tour with Rick Bakas in 2012. I still get a real buzz out of every training session I hold and love working with the participants to help them think about how new media can be incorporated into their marketing plans.
- Helping brands like Best’s Great Western and Scarborough Wine Co rebrand and re-position their business – in many cases using social media to tell stories about smaller brands with amazing stories and heritage.
- Relaunching packaging for Omrah Wines – with a fresh new look and communications platform.
- Collaborating with wineries across the world on initiatives like Rose Revolution, Chardonnay Day or Cabernet Day.
- Developing Wine Communicators of Australia National strategy to help improve quality and access of wine communication.
- Successfully applying learnings from wine industry across to food industry for launches of restaurants like CHISWICK Sydney.
- Being selected on WFA Future Leaders program in 2012 – the most inspiring week of my life with some life-long friendships formed.
- Keeping all of this going whilst caring for 2 little kids and for a while during this period, also helping care for my late father who had cancer…
Like any business, we’ve evolved and changed over time, and I have a great team of partners (many of whom are also mums) who help me push the boundaries and create great work for our clients.
There’s still the daily challenge of juggling young children (I have a three-year-old at home and a daughter in Kindergarten with school hours to contend with) while running a business part time. I love being around for the children whilst they are young, but time is my constant enemy and I am the first to admit it’s often a juggle and some days i just run on adrenalin and minimal sleep.
But it won’t be like this forever and nothing has been as rewarding as being able to nurture my two little people, and help them make their mark on the world as confident individuals, while being able to do what I love professionally with brands that I am so passionate about.
Importantly, the world of social media has certainly kept me in touch, and on many occasions sane, when toddler tantrums or parenting challenges seem harder to deal with than any multi-million-dollar negotiation. You may be reading this via a twitter link, or a facebook post and not realise how much I have appreciated your conversations over the past few years. Social media has allowed me to make great friends and interact with amazing people. Don’t ever believe that social media connections are not real or valid because they’re as meaningful as you make them and i’ve got some fabulous friends as a result!
A SHOUT OUT OF THANKS
There are too many people who have contributed to Mastermind’s amazing journey to name you all, but a few deserve special mention on such a milestone.
It’s been a privilege to have worked with so many great clients either on projects or longer term: De Bortoli, McWilliam’s, Taylor’s, Australian Vintage, Best’s Great Western, Scarborough Wine Co, ARIA Sydney, CHISWICK, Jonah’s Restaurant and Boutique Hotel, Wine Communicators of Australia, Plantagenet Wines, Wild Oats, Zema Estate, Belaroma Coffee, Brown Hill Estate, Casella Wines and many more beautiful brands that I’ve come to know through initiatives like Chardonnay Day and Rosé Revolution. Thanks for your patience and allowing me to work on your business as if it were my own.
To my Family – Kate and James – you’ve changed my world and given me perspective on what’s important in life – a lesson that I could never have learnt without you.
I could not do this without my Mum and mother-in-law, who both step in to help on so many occasions when I have work travel or commitments. And to my rock and husband Mark Barry – this could not happen without you. You’re an amazing man with great patience, allowing me to pursue my dreams. Thank you!
SO WHAT’S THE MORAL TO THE STORY?
There is a moral to this story (in my usual long-winded way) and it’s not to be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Life’s what you make of it and it’s doesn’t always follow the path you plotted out years ago.
Success may look different to how you traditionally define it. This could mean challenging conventional work models, changing your own definition of success and pursuing your dreams to do a job that you love, every day. I didn’t make it as Australia’s first female prime minister but I’m just as happy growing the Mastermind business, doing what I love with people and brands that i love and I respect.
Here’s to the next chapters in the Mastermind story.
Trish x x x