Speaking of Aussie success in the UK
Staying true to her passions transformed the life of Tasmanian-born Dr Joanna Martin from medical doctor to internationally acclaimed speaker, educator and entrepreneur.
WITHIN 12 months of launching her speaking business, Shift Speaker Training, in 2008, Dr Joanna Martin had taken its revenues from zero to seven figures in Australia and the UK.
Today, Joanna is based between London and Melbourne, has staff in both cities, and has so far taught over 55,000 people on three continents how to speak and present effectively, and profitably. In addition to working with business owners and professional women, Joanna has an enviable corporate client list that includes ANZ Bank, Fairfax Publishing and eBay.
So how (and why?!) did Joanna make the transition from doctor to international entrepreneur? Joanna recalls the emotional moment when she re-assessed her direction:
“A favourite patient of mine died and I realised, ‘my life has a time limit’.
“I knew I wanted to make a difference to people, but I also had a deep love for the performing arts.”
So Joanna entered a top acting school in Sydney, but six months in, although she was in her element, she remained unfulfilled.
“I wasn’t making a real difference in the world anymore.”
Then inspiration struck.
“I attended a large seminar aimed at helping people lead fulfilling lives.
“Within thirty seconds of seeing the guy up on stage I thought, ‘that’s what I want to do with my life – educate people, make a difference to them and have fun at the same time’.”
After re-training as a life coach, she realised she needed to start speaking and selling to groups to make it work financially.
“I started with small groups but before long my earnings took off.”
Quite soon, she attracted the attention of a leading seminar company and for two and a half years she travelled the world for them as a contractor, presenting successfully to large audiences.
By her 30th birthday, Joanna had the experience and profile to create her own large-scale speaking business, and in 2008 Shift Speaker Training was launched in Melbourne.
With the help of a part-time team of two, the business turned over AUD $500,000 in its first three months, and two months later Joanna and her partner moved to London to launch their UK operation.
Despite the growing global economic crisis, and learning through trial and error the cultural differences between Australia and the UK, Joanna’s UK operation boomed, and by the end of their first year the company’s turnover had reached seven figures.
Joanna shared some secrets of her success:
“No matter how established you are in business, if you don’t have a mentor and a coach to give you advice, you’re crazy.
“And in the UK, your network is everything. Make sure you get under someone’s ‘wing’, and you’ll be on your way.”
Australian Times readers can download the first chapter of Joanna’s new book ‘Presentation Profits Blue Print’ free of charge at www.shiftspeakertraining.com
Stephanie Beitzel is the Founder of Aussiepreneurs, advancing Australians with entrepreneurial interests and ambitions outside Australia.
Aussiepreneurs meets in London on the last Wednesday of each month. Don’t miss the next gathering on Wednesday 30 May, 2012 – visit www.aussiepreneurs.com