Don’t get distracted by what others are doing – Annette Densham – Australia

Tell us about yourself?  I was born 50 years ago in Tasmania to a paint salesman and gypsy in waiting. After my father left when I was three, we moved and moved and moved houses as mum went looking for safety and security. Because we were always on the move, I found my safety on books – loving Enid Blyton books and then moving onto Agatha Christie and Stephen King. This love of books developed into a love of writing, of asking questions, of wanting to know more about the world. And when kids my age, at 10, we’re being asked what they want to be when they grow up, I knew exactly what I wanted to be…and that was a journalist. When I am not writing, I’m reading – I devour books, immersing myself in other worlds and adventures. I also love traveling, going places to expand my mind and understanding of the globe we live on. A few years ago, I did a stand-up comedy course and found I love writing jokes and being on stand; it is such a buzz. I have been with my husband Earl for 25 years and he is my best friend, together we love going to rock concerts and you can still find us up the front, grooving to the music. We also love exploring wineries and love a beer. Together, we have two sons – Zayde and Qwyn – and we’re in awe every day of what amazing young men they are.

What is your business or job?  I am in partnership with Lauren Clemett – together we started The Audacious Agency. It is a hybrid blend of marketing, personal branding, and storytelling. One of my superpowers is being able to take people’s stories and create opportunities for them to share those stories so they can connect with other people. I do this by writing articles, blogs, and award submissions.

How long have you been in business or your career?  My first experience with journalism was when I was 15 and I did work experience at the South West News. I loved it. I have been in the media space since I was 19, working as a journalist and in editorial until I was in my 40s. When I went back to work after having kids, I ventured into corporate communications until my role was made redundant because of a ‘financial restructure’ and that is when I started my own PR agency.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? or …  What you love the most about your current job? It is an incredible skill to be able to listen to someone’s story and then capture it in words … words that they read and are blown away by how you have told their story that it moves them.  When I write awards, I love digging deep into someone’s background to see what makes them tick and why they do what they do so I can showcase their amazingness.

Who has been your greatest influence in business or your job and in your personal life and why? Me. I often wonder why I am not influenced externally by others. I think it is because I spent so much of my younger years by myself, that I had to look in for motivation. My greatest influence is me and I didn’t realise this until 2020 when I wrote a book about my younger years, Digging into all my mess and yuck, I found a deep-seated grit that permeated my life, that saw me get up, time and time again, sometimes when I could have been forgiven for crawling back into bed and staying there. Of course, there are people I admire but they are not famous or infamous, they are everyday people like my mum, who fought every single day for us as little ones to be feed and clothed, my son Qwyn, who has autism; his journey through the school system has been fraught with bullying and isolation but he is one of the most well-balanced people I know. My eldest son Zayde, who like many siblings of those who needs more attention, is quite resilient, funny, and ever so witty; his intelligence and insights into the world are incredible. My husband Earl, who has been on this journey with me for half our lives; is such a deep and intelligent thinker. I admire his brains and his desire to understand the world.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? Surviving in business for almost 10 years is a stand out; I am the most hopeless business person – all that admin, finance and other stuff that is not in my wheelhouse does my head in. I just want to write but somehow, I have managed to still be in business without upsetting too many people and having some money in the bank.  The next one is recovering from the impact of COVID on The Audacious Agency – Lauren and I kept showing up. At times, I felt like it was the universe telling me to do something else. In March we lost all our clients, it felt like too much to start again. But we did and has a cracker of year especially when it came to award submissions …and we helped so many people we were recognised the third year in a row with a Grand Stevie Award – you do not win one of those unless you have helped lots of other people.

What do you do to inspire other women? I encourage them to embrace their stories … that they are worth hearing and reading. That every single one of us has the power to influence those around us. Not the ‘get paid’ type of influence – the much more powerful type of showing up every day and doing your best influence. I think we forget that people are watching and when you live with authenticity and vulnerability, you inspire others to action. I am open about my journey through life, my stuff ups and challenges because life is not all sunshine and rainbows and selfies. It can be a messy, crazy place and by sharing my story, I hope to encourage others to open up about theirs. You never know who you will touch.

What inspirational qualities do you possess? Candour, grit, resilience, tenacity, humour, and gumption. I would love to say I have lived a charmed life that was all peaches and cream but I haven’t. I have had to overcome some incredibly traumatic life events and I have done so by digging deep and finding the bright in the dark.

What’s your advice for other women that may want to do what you do? Surround yourself with people who have aligned skills that you can draw on, invest in your personal development because business success isn’t just about the systems and processes, it’s about what goes on between your ears.  Reach out to others in the industry for support and mentoring; there are many incredible women out there who understand the value of collaboration, not competition.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to Nikki’s blog?  Don’t get distracted by what others are doing; that is a slippery slope into comparisonitis and feeds the imposter syndrome that lurks inside all of us. Run your own race but never be afraid to ask for help. There is no point suffering in silence when there are many amazing humans that want to see you succeed.

What do you do for fun/relaxation? I read, laze in my beautiful beach beanbag at the beach with my hubby and a good book, I love live music so we see lots of bands, I love dancing to said bands and we love trying new wines and beers.

What’s the best way for our women here to connect with you?  Email: annette@theaudaciousagency.com or  Website: https://www.facebook.com/nettiedensham/