“People will gravitate towards things at different times. Depending on when it’s relevant for them, so I do believe that your community, or your tribe or supporters will find you, and support you and that’s important. And I also think it’s really, really important to constantly be giving back. And so, I guess that’s why I love what I do with SHINE business-women. It’s not technically a not-for-profit organisation but literally everything we do we just aim to draw even because it’s all a case of ‘let’s give back, let’s contribute and let’s help others rise’, because I’m a firm believer if you help others to rise, well then you will rise as a result, you will benefit from that, you will develop those friendships and relationships and they’re so important.” Zoë Sparks
The last 18 months has been undeniably tough for this super star travel agent and event organiser. Who would have thought the world would be brought to its knees in such a difficult way. And every time there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, it’s devastatingly clear it’s not and the whole industry is catapulted back to ground zero. Zoë Sparks, travel agent and event organiser, talks about the importance of community, tribe and the power of helping others as well as asking for help if needed.
Zoë Sparks has owned her award-winning travel, conference and event management company – Spectacular Events Pty Ltd – for the past twenty-three years. Spectacular Events delivers conferences, events, expos and exhibitions for up to 1000 attendees at any one time and also offers group travel packages and options for schools, clubs and major events.
Zoë describes how her industry may not recover from this for a very long time, if at all, and the world may never be the same. . Zoë does not believe we will be freely able to travel again until at least 2024. She believes travel will come down to a vaccination passport or sacrifice travelling all together even though she also believes there should also be freedom for all.
We have never had our hands so tied before and not been told we cannot do things. It’s a big challenge for so many.
It is a global world where we perhaps took travel for granted. We used to be able to just jump on a plane and within 24hours you could almost be on the other side of the world.
Zoë believes there are two views where many are up for getting up and getting on and there’s another group who are fearful of what could happen and believe border closures are the best way to beat this. And she says maybe both sides are right.
We delve into parenthood and how this pandemic has affected our younger generation especially those who were celebrating final years of school or Uni.
Recognised twice as a QLD Telstra ‘Business Woman of the Year’ finalist and also a winner of Sunshine Coast Outstanding Business Woman of the Year, Zoë has a proven track record for success and achievement. Zoë’s experience in small business is not only as a business owner but also as a franchisee, Board and committee member (companies and not-for-profit organisations) and volunteer.
Zoë is passionate about ‘women in business’ and reward and recognition which has led to her authoring three small business books sharing the tips and tricks she has learnt over the years, plus two books that feature the stories of women in business – SHINE’ing the Spotlight and SHINE’ing the Spotlight… The Journey Continues. The launch of SHINE’ing the Spotlight … UNLEASHED the podcast last year was also an instant success.
Zoë has pivoted in many directions and as an award winning business owner, entrepreneur and leader, she has a huge love around celebrating women and supporting all women in business.
Zoë is the founder of SHINE Business Women which was launched in early 2018 and is making a huge impact in the area of professional and personal development for women in business.
Zoe shared that not only are we worried about our business and jobs but women are also home schooling and supporting partners who were also working from home. Supporting everyone else meant many felt worn out, burnt out and exhausted mentally and emotionally. Social media means we see others succeeding and doing well. It is hard not to compare oneself and feel more broken than ever before.
This is where self-care is so important. Even something little to top one’s tank.
We talk about the lipstick indicator, sometimes called the lipstick effect, which is an economic indicator that suggests an increase in sales of small luxuries such as lipstick can indicate an oncoming recession or period of diminished consumer confidence.
Zoë talks about how she has had to be brave and also honest. That some days, even though she is mentoring others and supporting other people to keep going, there are some days where she is really struggling.
Since the pandemic she has put more energy into her SHINE business group and even decided to start a business hamper business. She describes how to stay buoyant and keep afloat through these tough times. She encourages you to keep doing things that make you reach out and keep connecting with others. Do not become a recluse, be prepared to ask for help and pursue what you love.
She has worked hard at building a profile to grow her business. You have to brave to put yourself forward. And then sometimes there are expectations from others where they think you are doing well. But as Zoë describes she too goes through the challenges. She believes it is about putting yourself out there, not worrying about the consequences and give anything a shot!
Keep growing and looking for opportunities she says. Do not be so worried about other’s perceptions and most certainly do not take it personally if it is not in congruence with your actions and beliefs. And constantly look at ways to give back.
Zoë talks about her SHINE business which stands for Supporting, Helping, Inspiring, Nurturing and Empowering women from all walks of life. She has a SHINE Podcast and a Shining the Light spotlight on women in the group. It is a way of connecting and bringing women together. Check out the links below to join and be a part of this beautiful community.
There are a lot of people who need help through these times and Zoë is always looking for ways to contribute and do things for others whilst bringing together a community, telling their stories and allowing everyone to meet like-minded people.
Zoë’s definition of Self Love is ‘I think self-love and self-care is doing things for yourself, even if it’s something small every day and looking at what you can fit in. I know I go through different stages of eating well, exercising and then there are times when I am flat tack and don’t have as much time.’
Zoë loves real books, pampering herself and taking time out. As she is getting older it is really about focusing on going out and having a healthy walk in the morning as it allows you to get clear and focused. She loves to write and read and channels herself in that direction to get away from the work buzz to relax and breathe and enjoy that quiet time.
She says it’s important to appeal to your senses with your Aroma Mists, a cup of tea and a good book!
Zoë talks openly about married life and raising her two boys. She knows she is very independent and has raised them to be independent. She has remarried and talks about the challenges as things have changed. She is proud of each of her boy’s qualities. Lovely traits you hope your son will have but she loves how they have a lovely gentle side too and a kind heart. A close bond is so important to her. Her two boys are her biggest achievement, and she could not be more proud.
She says it is important to follow your dreams and what’s more important is that you take action. Write your goals and dreams down. Taking little steps towards making it happen.
Focus on things, believe in yourself and channel for it to come true. Yes, there will be obstacles but it’s important to make the best of every situation.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and give things a go.
Favourite quote is: If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.
We are here to live an amazing life and sometimes we have to push ourselves. Change is scary but it’s also great. This will help you to expand, grow and learn and to leave a legacy.
Zoë has a business trilogy of books and two others available on her website below:
Strive and Thrive
Healthy and Wealthy
Award and Reward
Shining the Spotlight
Shining the Spotlight – The Journey Continues
Links to follow Zoë:
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/shine-business-women/
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