In Her Words: Mel TelecicanAugust 1, 2018
Where were you born and where did you spend your childhood?
I was born in Bundaberg, Queensland with both parents in their own businesses. I spent most of my childhood in the backyard or within the walls of a dance studio (learning tap, ballet & jazz) before moving to Brisbane for University
Where did your professional dream begin?
As a teenager I would go to the newsagency and pick up a Dolly magazine along with the latest issue of Business Review Weekly. The interest and fascination for business came from a successful business owner who taught us a Business subject at school. She had the context and the stories to explain the principles perfectly. The spark came from there.
Tell me a little about your business and where your passion comes from?
I am the Director of two businesses. One is Course9 and the other is Loyalest.
Course9 is an online course development service. We help people get their course together, up and online, from start to finish. We created this service because so many people get their course started but never manage to get it up and online for sale.
Loyalest is about email automations using ActiveCampaign software. We are one of only 60-odd certified consultants globally. We are all about building a list that drives conversions. Most people don’t use their software to a quarter of its capacity. Our end game is to create a comprehensive service that has our clients get the most out of the software they pay for.
What have you learnt about yourself during your career?
That aiming for perfection slows everything down. I learned from my first business (sold in 2012) to keep overheads low, to negotiate on leases, to not get my heart set on a product or service – be prepared to let it evolve or die. It’s ok. There’s always another better idea coming.
I’ve learned that working hard is both a good trait and a problematic one for me. I know now that I need to leverage my skills in a way that means I can help more people than only a few at a time. Hence my podcast ‘Monetising Knowledge’. I want to be abreast of the most effective ways to leverage IP. By interviewing the most successful people doing this helps me learn along with my audience.
I’ve also learned that doubting my skills compared to others was unfounded (and that I’ve wasted a few years thinking like that). I’ve learned that I must surround myself with thinkers and dreamers who are doers. I’ve also learned that family time should not be sacrificed for work now, only so it can be made up later. That will never happen. I’ve learned that booking in holidays and getaways at the beginning of a year is the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and your business.
What 3 key gems of advice would you share?
- Build a list of interested prospects BEFORE you launch a product/service
- Look to other industries and other markets to see what is getting traction in that space to great effect. Then ideate how that approach could benefit your industry.
- Inject rest time into your life to be the best at what you do and continue to love the work you do. That’s also when the best ideas come.
What are some of the mistakes you made and learnings from them?
My biggest mistake was not knowing all the numbers in my first business. Numbers are the lifeblood of a business and there’s no reaching any sort of ‘big picture’ without having a good handle of exactly where you’re at. Understanding financial reports brings clarity and confidence about next steps.
What keeps you going?
I love the work I do. I also like being a role model for working women to my son. He knows the work I do is as important as his Dad’s.
How important is it for women to have mentors/their own circle of excellence to guide them?
Imperative. Talking with, and being mentored by others is where my biggest gains have been made. When I retreat from it, I notice after a few months that I’m a bit stale. Connecting with my peers or a mentor is like premium fuel for me.
What’s next in the journey of BRAND YOU?
I’m currently putting more focus into my podcast ‘Monetising Knowledge’ and also compiling my speaker profile. Next month I hand over my manuscript for ‘Convert – how to motivate prospects to choose you over your competitors’. The book launch is in October.
Your favourite things:
* Destination: San Sebastian
* Drink: Tequila & soda
* App: Trello
If you were a hashtag what would it be?