Only six companies founded by women made it into BRW’s Fastest Growing Companies list for 2009. One of the reasons women are so under-represented is that fewer women enter the prestigious business awards. As a group, women tend to downplay their achievements and are reluctant to step forward and claim the credit when they do perform well. But is it just a lack of confidence, or are female entrepreneurs flying under the radar?
According to this year’s youngest and highest ranking female entrepreneur in BRW’s Fast 100, Roberta Faddoul (pictured), female entrepreneurs are achieving much more than we realise, it’s just that many women are accumulating their successes under the radar of the wider business community and the press.
Roberta told Australian Women Online, “I was a little bit disappointed that BRW didn’t really recognise the 6 women out of the 100. There are some phenomenal women in that group who have been in business a lot longer than myself. It would have been nice if BRW had printed something about us. It was a bit weird because I was flicking through the magazine and there are only 3 images of women in the whole magazine and two them were ads.”
A Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguist Programming (NLP), Robert Faddoul and her company, Quantum Change Seminars, have coached thousands of people to achieve their dreams. Roberta says most of the people who attend their seminars in Wollongong and Sydney are women.
“We are a seminar company providing personal development programs and we also teach wealth creation strategies and programs for business. We teach marketing skills and how to run your own business and when I look out into the audience, I would say 75 – 80% are women.”
As to why successful women are in such short supply in corporate Australia, Roberta says this is a tough question to answer.
“I think women take time out from their career to raise children and then come back when their children are older. I haven’t had children yet but I know it’s a full-time job being a mum. My mum is one of my biggest role models, she raised four daughters and she was always there for us,” she said.
“Work/life balance has become such a big issue. Having that right balance of a career or a business, and also having time to look after yourself, and having time with family and friends, is important to everyone. It’s definitely a balancing act.”
Roberta Faddoul’s company managed to rank 42nd out of 100 in BRW’s Fastest Growing Companies list, after only four years in business. In its first year Quantum Change Seminars turned over in excess of half a million dollars and it has since grown by a massive 440%. However, BRW would never have known this had she not entered the BRW Fastest Growing Company awards.
“Our core teachings are NLP which is all about mindset and how you can live the life you want. NLP is about getting the best out of life and we have people from all walks of life who come and take the program. The most famous trainer of NLP is Anthony Robbins. I really look up to Tony because he made NLP more accessible to people in the wider community.”
Now aged 32, Roberta Faddoul was exposed to NLP from a young age and is a true believer. After high school she studied law at university and then tried acting in Sydney for a couple of years, before returning to Wollongong to work with her dad, an NLP Trainer.
“I worked with my dad for five years and then four years ago, I told my dad I was ready to go and do my own thing and he supported me one hundred percent. My dad now works for the company as a trainer. I’m very blessed to have the support of my family. When I started my business, it was in my living room with my sisters and friends pitching in. It’s been a wonderful journey,” she said.
Roberta says the key to her company’s success is by making an expensive product affordable, Quantum Change Seminars has built a loyal following of NLP practitioners who keep coming back for ongoing professional development and training.
“Traditionally NLP trainers charged in excess of $4,000 for the minimum NLP qualifications. By giving people free entry level NLP tuition, we have seen a wonderful ripple effect in the community. We have built a strong brand by giving people in Wollongong and Sydney a total of $7.2 million in NLP education for free.”
“Our whole philosophy at QC Seminars is that we are a family business and we make our students feel like they’re apart of the family too. We keep in touch with our students and people do keep coming back to do other programs with us as well. We’ve got some great success stories.”
Roberta Faddoul’s 5 keys to success are:
1. Find a mentor – Her mentors include her father George Faddoul, Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, and Madonna.
2. Do what you love – be inspired and the money will flow.
3. Write down your goals – DREAM BIG – know where you are going – you’ll figure out the HOW, if your WHY is BIG enough.
4. Be innovative – think outside the box- better still reinvent the box.
5. Invest in yourself – go to the seminars, buy products, read the books, keep up with technology, cutting edge – in the next 5 yrs the biggest difference to where you are now and where you want to be will be the books you read, the people you meet and the seminars you take.
When I asked Roberta why Madonna is one of her mentors she said, “When I was young she was my first role model and Madonna is such a successful business woman as well. She is the queen of re-invention and I admire that and I think that’s one of the things that I’ve taken on with my own business – doing things differently to everyone else in my industry.”
“So many people just look at their competitors and what they are doing. I actually don’t look at my competitors in my own industry, I look to be inspired by people in other industries. People tell you to look outside the box but I like to reinvent the box and do something completely different. I think that’s one of the keys to our success as a young company. We wanted to stand out and be different to everyone else.”
“I also believe that education doesn’t stop at high school or university – it should be a lifelong endeavour. Whether it’s reading books or attending seminars, the more that we enrich ourselves with knowledge, the more rewarding our journey will be.”
For more information about Roberta Faddoul and Quantum Change Seminars visit the website www.qcseminars.com
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