Sonia McDonald Top 5

For this month’s Top 5 Pearls of wisdom I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with one of Australia’s leading courageous leadership advocates and speakers Sonia McDonald.

OK so let’s start with a short list of Sonia’s accolades:

  • Global Keynote speaker
  • Author of Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It
  • CEO and founder of LeadershipHQ – helping 100’s of organisations develop high impact leaders across their businesses
  • Founder of Tea for Teens, a social enterprise supporting the community around teenage mental health
  • Board Member for Ixa

Honestly with all that she has going on at the moment I don’t even need to go into her previous roles. Sonia now has over 45,000+ followers on LinkedIn and is a guiding light for so many leaders and aspiring leaders across so many different industries.

Sonia is 100% living life to the full with here Keynote speaker engagements, leadership coaching, Authoring, facilitating workshops, advisory roles filling the role of CEO.

Here are Sonia’s Top 5 Pearls of wisdom for living your life to your absolute full potential:


Be a Leader.

If I could go back in time, the one thing I would say to my younger self is to learn leadership now. Leadership isn’t a role or title; it is an attitude and mindset. If I had learnt this sooner, I would be in an even better place than I am now.

The best leaders embody the Leadership Attitude and Mindset that transcends merely being called a ‘leader’. They are courageous and face things head on; even if they’re scared, they know what they have to do and so they just do it. They are authentic, inspiring others with their genuine commitment and lack of hypocrisy. They are kind, truly caring about those around them and investing in their success.


Be Courageous.

It’s incredibly freeing to realise that it’s okay to fail. It allows you to be courageous and push past the fear, knowing that no matter what the outcome, you will come away having learned something.

Courage doesn’t have to be giant gestures either; it can be something as simple as raising your hand and speaking up for yourself, or saying ‘no’ more often and showing respect for your own boundaries.

Be Authentic.

This is really important. It is pivotal that you know who you are – and that you own it. Take the time to really get to know yourself through reflection activities, and you’ll be able to align your values, behaviours and actions with who you really are.

Be Kind.

Leadership is about others, first and foremost, so it is vital that you are kind to those around you. Show empathy, take the time to really listen and care, and treat people as you wish to be treated.

Kindness is free, and has a profound effect on your leadership and your life. The ripples from even the smallest act of kindness, such as smiling at a stranger, touch so many people and make their lives that little bit better.

The world needs more kindness, so lead the way and be a great example.

Be There.

Surround yourself with people who believe in you and support you no matter what. In turn, be there for others and give. Even lending an ear to a friend or team member that is having a tough time emotionally has a huge impact on their wellbeing.

We all need support at times, and if we wish to receive it from others, we must also be willing to give it. You don’t need to overstep your own boundaries, but simply letting people know you are there for them, and then following through, is incredibly effective in supporting others.


If you are interested in checking out the work Sonia is doing, you can check out her various enterprises at the following locations:

Nadia Golenkova Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom

Nadia Golenkova is an experienced people leader with a passion for delivering high-impact, contemporary HR solutions. As L&OD Manager for Winson Group, Nadia’s current focus is to drive organisational resilience, performance, and growth by developing future ready, capable employees.

Strongly committed to the advancement of the HR profession, Nadia regularly volunteers her time as a mentor, NFP consultant, and is a member of the AHRI QLD State Council. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters of Business from the University of Queensland. In her spare time Nadia enjoys travel, learning to ballroom dance, and trying to keep up with over 30 favorite podcasts.

Here are Nadia’s Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom targeted at graduates and those early in their career:

  1. Always understand your business.
    It’s not enough to be a specialist in your field. To be successful and effective, you need to understand your commercial environment. No matter if you’re in private, not for profit, or government, you will have major customers, key deliverables, and core metrics that your organisation will sweat. Learn the language of your workplace, and understand how your role contributes to the larger goals.


  1. Care about what you do – everyday.
    Sometimes “loving” work is a bit of a big ask. You won’t always enjoy your job, and you won’t always feel motivated – but you should always show care about how your work affects others. That care factor is as applicable to your entry-level role, as it is when you’re a business leader. Don’t forget that even on the days that you don’t feel engaged, you can still care about your impact on people.


  1. Be like a duck!
    Challenging situations will come up all the time throughout your career, and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help. However, when the going gets tough, you will stand out by projecting an air of calm, rather than shouting about the sky falling.  Float on the water, but pedal hard beneath the surface.


  1. Don’t search for a passion, cultivate one.
    Most people don’t discover their career passion out of the blue. Passions are interests that have been cultivated and nurtured over time. Invest in your curiosities: read, listen to podcasts, go to events,  dedicate time for practicing things that interest you. Over time you’ll find that your passion will grow out of this investment.


  1. Create your own luck. 
    Don’t wait for your manager to come to you with the next challenge. If you know and care about your business and are cultivating your interests into passions, you’ll soon discover plenty of opportunities. Be brave and share your insights with others, run with projects, and keep making your own luck as you go.


If you would like to get in touch with Nadia feel free to send out a connection request via her LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn

Get Floating

Float Tank Experience

Now I have really taken one for the team this month and trialed a new relaxation method. This month I plucked up the courage to try out my very first float tank experience.

Now this may not sound scary to some, but the idea of spending an entire hour in complete darkness with absolutely zero noise with no one but yourself could and does sound terrifying to others.

For my initiation into the world of floating, I made an appointment to head into The Float Space in West End Brisbane. First off all the staff were great, when you booked you were emailed a quick video induction of what to expect and this really helped settle the nerves ‘knowing what you were in for’. The whole premise was great, a neat relaxing waiting area with meditative colour in books, water and teas on offer. After a few moments you are ushered off to your private pod room where you strip down, shower, plug some ear plugs in and slide into your pod before you lower the hood and settle in. Pressing the big green button in the pod switches off the lights and let me tell you it is DARK, like the darkest dark I have ever experienced (you can’t tell if your eyes are open or closed it is that dark).

The water is heavily saturated with Epsom salts, over 550kg per pod. It is heated to the perfect temperature and it is fair to say you are super buoyant, it almost feels like you are floating on a warm gel. Even though the water is only ~15cm deep there is no way you are touching the bottom when lying down.

At first it takes a little to get used to. You drift around and bounce off the edges a few times and get comfortable. Once you relax, the magic happens. Personally, my experience was a little euphoric. I noticed the water would warm up in a small zone around all of my body parts (when you moved you would notice it cool down) so it became a challenge to lie as still as possible and enjoy this sensation.
Thoughts would come and go from your mind and I found I would cycle through states of alertness. I wouldn’t say I fell asleep at any stage but the meditative state was quite noticeable.
After what felt like more than an hour music began to play in the pod meaning it was time to get up, shower off, and retreat back to the relaxation area for a tea and reflection on the time in the pod.

So, how did feel afterwards?

  1. Drowsy, kind of deeply relaxed and like I had had a huge mental reset
  2. My muscles felt relaxed, very different to a massage. The floating meant there was zero tension on anything. My muscles were allowed to naturally release as I didn’t need to support myself. The general aches and pains had also diminished for sure
  3. The silence and darkness was amazing. I don’t know the last time I experienced such a sensory deprivation
  4. From a mind perspective, there was a fresh sense of clarity, similar to a relaxing massage but in my opinion better

Some key pointers if you want to try it:

  1. They provide a balm to put on any cuts or scratches, I had a tiny nick on my finger that stung a bit for around 15 minutes – I should have gotten out and put some balm on it – deal with any discomforts straight away.
  2. There is a float for your head – use it if you need, many people need it for their first few floats.
  3. With the hood closed it can get quite humid, lifting the hood a little lets much more fresh air in (still completely dark) I found it quite humid with the hood right down, much better with it up a little.
  4. The water tastes BAD – Don’t taste it!
  5. If you get uncomfortable at any point, move or change your position and reset – I would much rather you try to get a few quality 10 minute zones than being “not quite there” for a full hour.
  6. For those that suffer from Anxiety or Claustrophobia:
    1. Take it at your own pace – there is a light button and a buzzer to call the staff if needed.
    2. You are in control and feel totally safe in the environment.
      • The darkness can feel quite engulfing, if you suffer from claustrophobia you may want to leave the light on, you are completely in control.
    3. I didn’t feel anxious in any way during the float, again the light is there if you need it and I would recommend you don’t fully shut the pod if you have any breathing difficulties.

So, should you try it?
I realise this might not be for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely go back again. If you are keen to give it a try, I say go for it, it is definitely relaxing and my muscles feel soothed. It’s perfect for when you feel mentally drained and need a mental reset.

Thanks again to the team at The Float Space – check them out here:

Petra Zink Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom

Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom:

Petra Zink is a prominent figure in the Future of Work space. Petra is a consultant to many companies helping them attract and recruit talent, build brand identities and also works in the personal career coaching space.

Over the last 5 years Petra has specialised in helping companies and their leaders to grow their Businesses & Careers by combining Branding, Marketing, Coaching and Recruitment expertise to build their Brands so they can stand out for all the right reasons.

Petra has also coached over 300 Digital/Marketing & Technology Professionals on building & managing their Brand and have worked with 50+ companies on their Talent Strategies & Tactics.

Petra is an amazing personal brand specialist and has the following top 5 pearls of wisdom to help with your personal brand and career.

  1. You need to be your own number 1 first and foremost. There is nothing selfish about wanting to be at your best as this means to can give your best to others. Knowing and owning your point of difference and what makes you tick is how you can positively influence others and this is where you can make the biggest impact. If that means you need to have some alone time to work out, to listen to podcasts, to read a book, to catch up with friends, then plan it and put it in your diary as your me-ting. For me, me-time is so important as I’m one of the biggest introverts you will ever meet and I recharge from being on my own.
  2. If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice. No matter how much you love certain things, you always have to also take the sh*$ sandwich with it. If you are willing to sacrifice the short term pleasure, you will get the long term rewards
  3. If you don’t take control over your career and life, someone else will do it for sure. Fact is, no matter how junior or senior you are, which role or industry you are at – people put us in a box based on their perception. And as we know, perception = reality. The good news about it is that we can influence this perception – in a good and in a not so good way. Many people complain about not being able to progress in their career, missing out on opportunities or never get chosen for a step up – well, this is a reflection of the behaviour we put out there and what others observe. They pick up on what we put out there.
  4. If you are in a jar, you can’t see the label. People often believe that they ‘just’ need another degree, more experience, an MBA, to get ahead. However, no knowledge in this world can make up for perspective. It’s often that we are stuck in a situation and hope that external factors like another degree, more years of experience under the belt, will help to change that situation but most often it’s a matter of being clear with ourselves and gain a new perspective that often changes everything.
  5. No one is you and that’s your super power. In a world of more competition than ever before, with more noise than ever before – it’s harder to stand out. However, the only way to stand out without being loud and one that no one else can compete with us is by being our full self. Owning this requires courage as it will mean rejection, but when you realise the potential you and your story have and when you share it, this is when magic happens. Then you have realised the 2nd most important day in your life (after your birthday).


If you would like to get in touch with Petra feel free to send out a connection request via her LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn
Petra also co-hosts a great podcast called We ‘R’ Future – all about the future of work – fascinating stuff that you can tune into here:
Check out the great work Petra is doing at Impaccct here:

Therese Lardner Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom

Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom:

Therese Lardner is a Leadership Coach and Registered Psychologist with over 14 years of experience in helping businesses select, develop and retain talent.

Therese also the founder of Mindset Coaching and Consulting where she works with HR executives to help them to recognise and harness the potential of their people so that their talent stops burning out and leaving. Therese is in the midst of writing a book on the virtues of burnout that we just can’t wait to read!

When Therese is not coaching leaders and facilitating workshop seminars, she is a very proud mum of two and a passionate advocate of building thriving, resilient kids.
Here are Therese’s top 5 pearls of wisdom for taking care of yourself and reaching your full potential.

  1. Connect to what’s important to you and do your best to always move in that direction. The moment you start being and doing in a way that isn’t aligned to your driving purpose, you’ll start to feel lost, frustrated and potentially constrained. Two amazing books that will help you keep growing and ‘on track’ are Start With Why and Find Your Why, both by Simon Sinek.
  2. Being really stressed and busy aren’t badges of honour. They’re signs that you’re just doing what you can to get by, rather than living and working in a way that is both fulfilling and sustainable. Being stressed can’t go on forever. Eventually it will impact on your mental and physical health, your work and relationships with those around you.
  3. If you find that you’re close to exhaustion, all the gym and yoga in the world won’t work to help you recover if you don’t understand the patterns of behaviour that you’re taking with you from job to job, from project to project. You can change your surroundings, but you’ll need to understand more about yourself to navigate through your natural limitations and to leverage your strengths, so that you don’t repeat the same old pattern.
  4. Just because you’re early in your career doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to have a voice. Feeling ‘not enough’ is so common and it can lead to not contributing, not putting yourself forward and not performing to your potential. You have experience, you have value to give – own it.
  5. Be mindful of the people you look up to. As humans we take on the styles, approaches and even mannerisms of people that we respect. Be picky about what actions you will take on as your own strategies and ones that are really just not helpful. Ask yourself “what’s the impact of that approach?” to decide if that strategy is really for you or not.

If you would like to get in touch with Therese feel free to send out a connection request via her LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn
Or you can tune into her latest Podcast appearance on Beneath the Surface – A really great deep dive into the world of burnout: Here:

Going for Gold with Matt Levy OAM

Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom:

For this month’s Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom I have the pleasure of introducing Matt Levy OAM.

As a world champion swimmer, he has won a staggering 53 major swimming championship medals from state, national and international events (including Olympic GOLD).

When it comes to performing under pressure, he has most athletes covered!

Matt has also had his fair share of obstacles too – 56 operations to be exact. There hasn’t been a part of his body that hasn’t been poked, prodded or operated on. It goes with the territory of being born 15 weeks premature and having cerebral palsy. Oh and being legally blind too!

Matt has certainly made a splash in the world swimming arena, however, he is also doing great things in his career away from the pool including working at Westpac as a Business Implementation Manager, an Athlete Advisory Member for Commonwealth Games Australia and World Para Swimming, Treasurer for the Australian Swimmers Association and a Committee member for Swimming NSW.

Here are Matt’s Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom for overcoming adversity, rising to the challenge and reaching your full potential.

  1. Be true to yourself  – Know your values and always strive for what you truly believe to be right
  2. Always look at an obstacle as an opportunity to grow – Re-frame your problems to see the positive side of any situation
  3. You are always better than you think you are – Don’t let negative self beliefs ruin your chances of a great result
  4. If you want something bad enough, you can do it, if you believe – A positive mindset can make your dreams a reality
  5. Be better than you were yesterday and you are winning – Make the priority of each day to keep winning!

Honestly, we can’t thank Matt enough for taking the time out to contribute to this episode!

Matt is also available for motivational speaking – if you would like to know more or connect with Matt use the following links:

To check out other great examples of the skills sports teach us that we take into other areas of life check out inspiresport’s article here:

Simone Jeavons Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom

Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom with Simone Jeavons:

Simone Jeavons is an industry leading Organisational Psychologist who specialises in leadership development, executive coaching and cultural alignments. She enjoys building strong working relationships with her clients to achieve the best results for both her client and the organisation. Between working on leadership projects and coaching her clients, Simone takes groups of professionals to a remote island off Vanuatu to find themselves.

Since I have personally engaged Simone for her one on one coaching services, attended her retreats and workshop facilitation, I can attest she is one of the most influential leaders in her industry! For those that tuned into my appearance on the Beneath the Surface Podcast, you will be familiar with the work Simone has done to help me find my purpose in life and bringing the vision of Rapid Mentoring to life.

Here are Simone’s top 5 pearls of wisdom for finding yourself and reaching your full potential.

  1. Expand your mind by reading books – here are my top 3 reads of all time:
    1. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is one of those books that has the power to change the way you look at life. I first read it in 2008, then a few years later I found a special hardcover edition that takes pride on my bookshelf and I continue to pick it up and read a chapter every time I need some inspiration.
    2. Daring and Disruptive by Lisa Messenger (and the Daring and Disruptive Playbook) was another one that really struck a cord for me. It gets you into the creative space where you start thinking anything really is possible!
    3. Lastly, The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard is another favourite of mine, focusing on how you can live your best possible life.
  2. Find something that you love to do and keep doing it. Just continue to develop yourself in that space, even if you can’t see just yet how you can turn it into a career. I am a true believer of strengths based development and if you are that passionate about it, you will find a way to make it your career. When you find yourself in ‘flow’ this is a clear sign that you are doing something right. Keep in mind that just because you are good at doing something, doesn’t mean you should be doing it. Do what excites you and makes you want to leap out of bed in the morning. 
  3. Say ‘yes’. To everything. Even if it frightens the life out of you. This is how you learn and begin to identify what you love and what you don’t. It also sets you up to possess a breadth of skills that are transferable which translates into more career opportunities. Playing cautious with your career gets you nowhere. My motto is ‘Just jump’. 
  4. You have the power to create your own reality. If you don’t like something that is happening in your career, change it. If things aren’t going to plan, do something about it. The moment that you realise that you are in control of your life, you stop giving your power away to others and things start to change for the better. You are the master of your own destiny so believe in yourself and take considered action.
  5. Do yoga or meditation. Or both. Have something outside of work that allows you to completely turn off, to give you ‘space’ in your mind. It is when we turn off that we are able to listen to our intuition and the answers to the questions we have been asking, come to us. If you don’t give yourself the space to stop and listen, you’ll never hear those really important messages. And when you get those ‘gut feelings’, trust them. Your intuition is one of the most powerful tools you will ever possess. Use it. 

If you would like to get in touch with Simone try the following channels,

Or check out the blog from my time on the Retreat here:

Ripping with Dean Ferris

This month I was lucky enough to spend the day with Dean Ferris who is one of the top Pro Motocross Racers in Australia. His dedication to his sport and drive to be the best is second to none and it shows in the record books.

Dean is a 3x Australian National Pro Motocross champion. Early in his career he spent time at the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) and has spent time racing across Australia along with a storied international career racing in both Europe and the United States. Last year Dean managed the first clean sweep winning all 10 rounds of the 2018 Australian Motocross Championship. Yes the guy is super-FAST on a dirt bike!

A few weeks back I had the privilege of being invited to spend the day with Dean tagging along to one of his coaching sessions with some junior riders. There were a number of things that stuck out for me throughout the day and I was amazed at how many of the pointers and tips he gave have great application in the world away from a motocross track. It was quite surreal to be on the track while Dean was riding. He has an amazingly smooth, effortless flow around the track that is seriously impressive, let alone the amount of speed he carries.

Over the course of the day Dean pointed out a heap of tips to improve my personal riding. I have bundled a few of these up and given some anecdotes on how they can be applied to your life to help you take your career and life further, faster.

As mentioned above, these are not a standard ‘interview’ style top 5 pearls of wisdom, more takeaways and anecdotes from the coaching sessions.

  1. If you blow a corner, forget it straight away! Don’t take that negativity into the next corner or I guarantee you will blow the next one as well! Don’t let one bad corner ruin your whole race!
    • In life we can’t keep carrying the negative things that happen to us. We need to be able to look forward positively. One bad experience doesn’t need to ruin your whole day!
  2. Don’t waste energy worrying
    • Dean actually quoted Oprah on the track (totally not what I was expecting on a motocross track) but they are both right, worrying doesn’t help anything it only consumes energy that could be better spent solving the problem you are worrying about.
  3. When asked about sleeping the night before a big event, Dean mentioned that he sleeps really well all the time and big events don’t seem to phase him that much. He mentioned that while at the AIS he learnt that it takes over 20hrs for a sleepless night to catch up with you, it is highly likely the event will be over by the time it catches up.
    • This helps to reduce the anxiety over not getting enough sleep the night before and helps you get to sleep easier. Many, many Olympic athletes have had sleepless nights and performed well the next day and so can you.
  4. Practice good technique EVERYWHERE – even when riding down to the track, EVERYWHERE – you don’t see pro riders riding around looking sloppy, perfect technique is how they ride!
    • Quality is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Make your work the highest Quality even when no one is looking – make it a HABIT.
  5. Do what the Pro’s do! Get a video of a pro and get a video of yourself and compare what they do differently – then copy their technique.
    • This applies to so many facets of life. For example, if you want to learn public speaking then study someone good at it, video yourself and learn from it. If you want to learn to play golf, do the same…

One final take away was all around corner speed, “if you believe that you can’t take a corner any faster, you won’t! You always need to believe there is a faster way around that corner”. Again this quote has so many applications to life, keep striving for greatness, and always look to beat your personal bests.

A massive thanks to Dean and his family for having me for the day, I certainly learnt a lot and had a great day.

There you go, some great tips to help you ‘rip it up‘ in any area of your life!

Hold on tight!

To check out other great examples of the skills sports teach us that we take into other areas of life check out inspiresport’s article here:


The Barefoot Investor – Scott Pape

Barefoot Investor

A book that contributed to making the Rapid Mentoring Program a possibility: Yes the Barefoot Investor over the past 5+ years has helped us reach financial independence to chase our dreams.

The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape (aka the barefoot investor).

The book is touted as “the only money guide you will ever need” and I say that is a pretty fair call. Regardless of your situation in life, I honestly think there is so much down to earth quality information in this book that it is totally worth a read.

The book is broken down into chapters, which Scott has gone with a weird tact of calling ‘financial date nights’. It is intended that you take your significant other (or yourself) out for dinner and work through a chapter over dinner and make some real changes to how you manage your money.

I love the way the whole book has been written, totally charismatic and easy to take a way and implement. After all what is the point of a book that you cant implement the learning?

Well worth a read for anyone looking to take control of their finances (which should be all of us), a rating of 4.5 stars and getting close to a 5.

Rapid Mentoring - The Barefoot Investor - Scott Pape

Arbess Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom

Top 5 Pearls of wisdom:

Arbess is the Managing Director of Achroma Group, an upcoming Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Facility Maintenance company. He has worked his way up through various engineering and construction roles before taking the plunge into self-employment.
Building on a Civil engineering background and focusing on establishing his early career as an engineer, Arbess has worked on some of the largest construction projects in Australia before starting his own business, building it from the ground up.
Arbess has a way with people and quickly develops lasting relationships; he prides himself on the quality of his and his team’s work and always looks for favourable outcomes for all.

Here are Arbess’s top 5 pearls of wisdom for accelerating your career.

  1.  Read Change Your Thinking by Sarah Edelman – This book was an eye opener for me as a technical engineer as it helped me ‘round-off’ those sharp edges and encouraged me to focus on my goals better.
  2. Build your professional and personal network as early as you can. I can’t count the number of times people in my network have helped me think through a tough situation – they are my angels.
  3. Embrace failures in your career. This is not a perfect strategy but WHEN the failures knock on your door, be nice and welcome them in. Learning from my failures have only made me wiser and more creative.
  4. Education. Education. Education. Be it academic, vocational or other, keep learning and exercise those brain muscles.
  5. Be proud of your successes and who you are, but also be humble and selfless – the universe will thank you for it.

Importance of Performance Reviews

Welcome to our short spin on why you need to take your next performance review seriously.

Firstly, there are many names for a performance review, your organisation may call them; PDR (Performance Development Review), Development Review or just a yearly catch up. Regardless of the name, there are a number of reasons why you should take them seriously.


This is your chance to show what you have done through the year and how you have gone above and beyond!

You are given the opportunity to address any shortcomings in your performance. If this is done well in a one-on-one scenario, there is no reason why this can’t be a productive discussion with meaningful achievable outcomes. Top tip, it is best to reflect on your own regarding your shortcomings prior to heading into your performance review.

KPI’s are key! Review your yearly Key Performance Indicators and ensure you have tangible examples of each to prove you have met your goals with metrics.

Performance reviews are not a time to focus on the negative, but rather the opportunity. Don’t see this as a punishment session, rather see it as an opportunity for growth.


This is your opportunity to provide input into your own development. Prior, do some research on training you may wish to undertake in the coming year. A good performance review should be as much about the coming year as the performance in the year passed.

Also, try to get your hands on the position description for the next step up the corporate ladder and do a gap analysis against your current skill set. This will be the best place to start for a development plan in career progression.


Pay raises don’t come easy! Generally, there will be a standard ‘corporate-wide’ pay increase, however, there is usually a little room to move for those that under-perform and those that exceed expectations. To give yourself the best shot at being seen as someone who ‘exceeds expectations’, take time to prepare for your performance review. We can not stress this enough!

As you can see from the compounding example below, it is important to chase this pay rise every year.

Download our free performance review report and start preparing now.


Now is your chance to discuss your promotion aspirations with your line manager. Take a look at the department organisation chart as a good starting place. Your aim should be to find out what the next role is for you and set your own expectations for when you should be ready to take this position.

Try to have an open discussion with your line manager about your aspirations and take note of where they see you in relation to the new role i.e.What timeframe would they expect for you in order to reach this new role? What do they see as the development areas you need to focus on?


If your organisation has a bonus structure chances are it works something like this;

The board of directors will allocate a great big bucket of cash for the entire organisation. This will be passed down through the corporate ladder splitting the pie more and more as you go down through the various departments and levels of management. Chances are your manager would be given a small slice of this pie to distribute to her team within some preset guidelines (such as all employees will get a 2% bonus +/- 1%).

If your boss has a 2% figure in mind when she walks into the room +/- 1% depending on your performance review then this is your opportunity. Doing well will land you a 3% raise whereas not preparing and botching your review could lead to you only getting 1%. This ~2% gap is worth fighting for and worth spending only a few hours preparing for!


“Compounding is the 8th wonder of the world” according to Albert Einstein and here is how it can work for your salary over time:

As a comparison between two employees who start at the same salary. The first employee prepares well and scores a 3% rise year in and year out just by taking two hours of the company time to prepare for her performance review. The second one doesn’t prepare for her pay review and gets a lowly 1% pay rise each year.

The results are in the table below. Within the first 10 years, we can see a yearly salary gap of close to $12,000, however, getting close to a retirement age of 62, we have a profound gap of over $88,000! Over their life span the total earnings are $3.9M Vs $2.5M – yes a whopping $1.4M gap!

Now, we are not saying that this is the only factor but you can see for yourself how the little extra effort (on work time) can really have a dramatic impact on your salary.


Rapid Mentoring - Importance of Performance Reviews

Enhanced pay rises over time really add up


As you can see from the above examples there are a lot of opportunities that come from a well-run performance review. Don’t leave it up to your line manager to run your performance review; let them lead it but be prepared and willing to guide where you want the discussion to go. Above all else PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE! Not only is there a great opportunity to increase your salary or pick up a little more bonus but there is a great opportunity to show you are interested in advancing your career.

Please check out the Rapid Mentoring Free Performance Review Report and follow our 10 step guide to Acing your next performance review!

For more information on advancing your career consider signing up to the Rapid FastTrack program and check out the Career Builder section.

Kelly-Anne’s Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom

Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom:

Kelly-Anne is the National Graduate Program Manager at one of Australia’s largest Information Technology solution providers.
From humble beginnings growing up in Adelaide, Kelly-Anne developed her street smarts and astute thinking that has served her well throughout her career. Kelly-Anne has achieved a lot in her career; importantly she has also supported others to do the same, where her key focus has always been on imparting her knowledge on to those working for her or who cross her path.
Having moved through many different industries, her focus on developing graduate talent has always been her passion and highest priority. Kelly-Anne has a natural ability to network, nurture and develop a talented workforce.

Here are Kelly-Anne’s top 5 pearls of wisdom for accelerating your career.

  1. Focus on finding influential leaders who will help to nurture your career, try to find those that want your career to be their legacy!
  2. Be conscious of your Personal Brand, you are always on show! Be your authentic self; be kind, courteous and genuine, common courtesy may be old fashioned but it does go a long way.
  3. Take time to find quality mentors and develop your network. Find people that will support you through your career, these people are your sponsors and will serve you well when applying for promotions.
  4. Always be inquisitive, seek new ways of doing things and challenge the status quo, just because we have ‘always done it that way’ doesn’t mean it is the best way! Go above and beyond to improve. Exceed excellence!

Finally, treat your career like building a house, make sure you take the time to establish the foundations before standing the framework, when you get to a leadership role and start to install the roof you need to understand some of the structural components.

Think Positive

Do you have a little voice in your head that chatters away nonstop whether we like it or not? The narrator in your head, on average (for an average person whatever that may be) says roughly 50,000 words per day. That’s a lot of words and for those that like to overthink (ruminators – look it up if you like) the number can be double this!

Now let’s consider what percentage of those thoughts are positive, neutral or negative.

Personally, when I was asked what percentage of my thoughts I would have categorised into positive/neutral/negative at various point in time, I would have gone with 20%/40%/40%.

The concerning part is the percentage of negative thoughts – at this 40% level we are talking about 20,000 negative thoughts flowing through your head each and every day and pretty much all of them are derived from you guessed it – WORK.

Did I really hate my job so much that I would let it consume my brain with so much negativity? Probably not, but we do need to be very careful and pay attention to how much we let work get to us, and impacting on our emotions and our state of mind.

In hindsight, if I had of been more positive in my thinking, the issues I faced in my working career may have felt more like challenges rather than problems. I could have been more proactive about taking on these challenges and possibly excelled more than I did.

So try taking an issue you have at the moment and looking at it through a negative view point, then looking at the same issue with a positive view point. This activity is beneficial in two ways:

  • When we look at the worst case scenario, in most cases the worst possible outcome isn’t all that bad.
  • When we try to look at things positively, we start looking for solutions and ways to resolve the issue. This builds our confidence and helps turn the problem into a challenge that we know we can overcome.

In another light, being positive in the face of adversity exudes a confidence that you are in control. At work, knowing what you are doing gives your manager or supervisor confidence in your work and may lead to further responsibilities, promotions and the like.

The latest research by psychologist Angela Duckworth shows that it isn’t genius that contributes to people being successful, it is passion and perseverance. This tells us if we remain in a positive space where we persevere with setbacks and remain passionate about what we do, it will assist us to be successful in the long run.

Thinking positively can have a profound impact on how effective you are in your everyday life, give it a try!

Creating a LinkedIn Profile

Welcome to the Rapid Mentoring blog on creating or updating your LinkedIn Profile.

As digital marketing agency, Bernie, explains, LinkedIn has many benefits for both employees and businesses. For the former, it can help you secure your dream job by giving you a platform to showcase your career achievements and connect with great contacts. In terms of businesses, it’s great for seeking out candidates for vacancies and marketing to B2B audiences due to its precise targeting options.

Developing your personal brand is a big part of defining who you are outside of what you do. If you want to stand out from the crowd (for the right reasons), having an above average LinkedIn profile is a great way to start.

Here are the Rapid Mentoring tips to setting up your own LinkedIn profile:

Before you start, we recommend that you turn off public updates. Click ‘Me‘ at the top of LinkedIn, ‘Settings and Privacy‘, ‘Privacy‘, Sharing Profile Edits – set to No (this prevents your network being bombarded with the below updates)

Complete Your Intro

  • Choose the right photo – This needs to be a professional looking shot, generally in your normal work attire (not too casual, not too formal). This doesn’t need to be a professional head shot but it can help depending on the image you are trying to portray – if you are looking for an affordable yet amazing professional photographer in Brisbane check out Cindy Lee at Studio 4 Photography (
  • Add a background photo – LinkedIn recommend an aspect ratio of 1584x396px so this really suits panoramic shots. Be creative with this one, it really helps to set you apart (especially when everyone else has the stock LinkedIn image)
  • Customise your URL – Head to your ‘Edit Profile’, where it says ‘Public Profile URL’ click edit next to the URL and change it to what you like (chances are you may need to tinker to find a unique one)
  • Your Headline – It’s up to you what you put here, your current job position is pretty common. If you are out of work and urgently looking for a job, we totally recommend you put “Currently seeking new opportunities” – HR managers with urgent roles to fill will search for this along with a position title and see who pops up. There are plenty of short term, short notice roles that never get advertised.
  • Put some effort into your Summary – Don’t just put your current role! This is about you. Your talents, your skills and even listing your values can help to make your headline very personal (yet professional). Search for a few good examples in your network and develop your own. Try to stick to two or three paragraphs.


  • Use of Keywords – If you want people to find you when searching for certain words, you need to use those words in your profile somewhere. For instance, if you are looking for a new project manager role, it is a great idea to have project manager listed as often as practical.
  • Keep your job history concise, use the right keywords but don’t waffle on too much.
  • Always try to input the separate roles you have had for each employer individually (linking the dates). This helps to show how you have progressed through an organisation, i.e. 6 years in the one role as opposed to showing 3 promotions over the 6 years.


  • Concisely list all your relevant education history

 Skills and Endorsements

  • Again keep these concise and relevant, pick areas that people will endorse you for, then if required request their endorsement.


  • Seek out recommendations, try to make them specific for key attributes that will serve you in the future
  • Always repay the favour or pass it on by writing a recommendation for someone else


  • Remember to keep your LinkedIn profile professional, this isn’t Facebook! List career development, industry bodies and, of course, Rapid Mentoring.

Make connections!

Lastly it is time to make some connections!

  • We always recommend you write a personalised note – click ‘Connect’ – ‘Add a note’. Something as simple as “Hey [Name], I am looking to expand my network and would like to connect” will go a long way to increasing the likelihood someone will accept your request
  • Try to connect with people you know first
  • Limit the number of daily connection requests to less than 20 – LinkedIn may shut down your account if it appears you are spamming
  • Next try to target Second connections (people that you have connections in common with)
  • Always send a thank you note when someone accepts your request, it is a common courtesy that is not done often enough. By doing this, it will set you apart from your peers

If you want to be known as a prominent person in your industry, it is crucial that you become proficient at networking.

We hope the above tips help you develop your LinkedIn profile, the more effort you put in, the better it will be! If you need to take your profile to the next level get in touch with Kylie Chown ( Kylie has some great posts on tricks and tips, she can even revamp your entire profile if needed – well worth the investment if you are ready to really step up your game!

For loads more info on personal branding, check out the Rapid Online Mentoring FastTrack program here.

Promotion without a pay rise

All too often we hear about people being offered a promotion without a pay rise, here is a recent Q&A from one of our members.

Hi Rapid, I have some good and some bad news. This week work has let me know that they are finally working on my title change as part of a promotion. The problem is they have said there is no pay rise to go with it… They gave me the explanation that I have been doing the role for the past six months etc. and that they are not willing to review it at this time.
What should I do?

Congratulations! Take some time to celebrate the win of actually getting your title changed, don’t underestimate how significant this is. Celebrate the achievement!

Unfortunately, promotions without a salary increase are becoming more and more common.
Now for the tricky part, how do you address the salary injustice.

  • Ask the question “When will we be in a position to discuss my salary in relation to my increasing responsibilities?”

The answer may be in a few months time (after a trial period) or at the normal yearly performance review. If you feel you are grossly underpaid for the new role you can push and ask if a formal review can be done now. Be careful, you don’t want to come across as ungrateful for the new opportunity. Above all else DON’T whinge to everyone else in the office about how annoyed you are at the situation – Only discuss this in private with the people with the power to actually change it.
In the mean time, make sure you keep track of all your KPI’s and take note of examples where you are going above and beyond.

In this situation I always find it important to also focus on what Value the new position title can bring you, for example:

  • Expanded knowledge, exposure to new training, new skill sets
  • A better position on your CV for the next step
  • A great opportunity for professional growth
  • Hopefully a step closer to your career goals

Try to focus on the positive aspects of the new role and get excited about it. Don’t let the one downer bring down what is otherwise a great achievement.

I have personally been in this situation a few times and my best advice is to bring it up at your next performance review (max 3 months time). Prior to the performance review, make sure you Prepare-Prepare-Prepare! Use the Performance Review Report to make sure you get the most out of your review and hopefully land the salary increase you deserve.
Congratulations again on the new title, enjoy celebrating your massive achievement!

Remembering Names

Remembering names is a massive frustration for so many people, ignoring the problem can hurt your reputation and generally make it feel as though you don’t care. We know that isn’t the case so try the following tips to help you get a grasp on recalling people’s names. Practice and it becomes easier, the easier it gets the more confident you will become.

In time, your conversations will become more fluent and you may even discover you have an unknown gift of the gab.

Recalling a discussion with a member who recounted how one night at a work Christmas party he had been introduced to the new CEO. The night was just getting started and our members boss had introduced him to the new CEO, a quick handshake and nice to meet you was it. Later that night when leaving, without any further interaction, the new CEO fare-welled him by name and told him how he looked forward to seeing him in the office next week. What a lasting impression this had on our member – absolutely blown away, being a young graduate engineer and having the CEO of a multinational company remember his name!

Here is a look at how you too can develop this skill of remembering peoples names.

Before you meet:

Before you start, we need to change your mindset from “I am not good at remembering names” to “I am not good at remembering names YET”

Try to Find your own motivation for being better at remembering names,

  • The way it makes you feel when someone else remembers your name
    • Conversely how bad it makes you feel when someone important forgets your name
  • The impact it can have on your business
  • Good business and social etiquette
  • Remembering peoples names makes them feel special and cared for, if you want them to do something for you the least you can do is remember their name.

The meeting:

  • Be present – focus only on the person you are meeting, as if they are the only person in the room. Give them your undivided attention and try to block out the rest of the room.
  • Listen to them to HEAR what they are saying, not to RESPOND – just listen
  • Repeat their name after you first hear it – Jim Kwik refers to the six second rule – say the name within six seconds before you forget it.
    • “Nice to meet you ‘…’ my name is ….”
    • This is the best time to clarify that you have the name right
  • If it helps ask them a question about their name (don’t be offensive) try
    • “Hi ‘…’, that’s an interesting name, where does it come from”? “Does ‘…’ have any special meaning”?
  • Associate their name with an image, humans are very visual people if you can associate an image with their face – something that their name instantly reminds you of
    • i.e. if their name was Rudolf naturally the red nosed reindeer would pop into your head – so picture them with a shiny red nose – I seriously hope you don’t meet someone named Rudolf and laugh… try to keep the association above board, you don’t want to crack a smirk.
  • Use their name in your conversation, if you can use it three or four times through the conversation you are so much more likely to remember it
    • Rather than asking “Do you have any plans for the weekend?” try “So ‘….’, do you have any plans for the weekend?”
  • Close with thanking them by using their name
    • “Great to meet you ‘…'”

There you have it, some great pointers to helping you remember people’s names.

We hope this helps. We have heaps more of these great tips within our FastTrack members section or check out the other benefits of online mentoring.


Taking charge of your finances

Taking charge of your finances is such a crucial step in setting yourself up for the future!

Within the Rapid FastTrack program we have dedicated an entire course to helping you establish a solid framework for your finances.

Money doesn’t need to be scary.


Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it – Albert Einstein

This is such an accurate quote, a lifetime of debt equates to a lifetime of paying interest. A lifetime of savings equals a lifetime of interest payments.

Whilst debt is largely unavoidable in our modern lives, we should try to avoid it where ever possible. Living within our means, reducing our debt as quickly as possible and saving to invest is a fool proof way to get rich in the long run.

It ain’t easy being broke

Being broke sucks, we have all been there. Now lets try to avoid it! This is why it is so important to put steps in place to protect our financial security.

Once we have established our own financial security, we can stop worrying about money.

Money is the root of all evil!

Many people believe that money is the root of all evil and that greed corrupts the population. Whilst we can see their point (and there are many, many examples of this), we prefer to look at the opportunities that money can bring:

  • Housing, food and our basic survival needs – without money how would we survive
  • Following our dreams
  • Gaining experiences – travel, expanding your horizons through study, personal development
  • Finding and pursuing our purpose in life
  • Giving to those more in need
  • Providing a better life for our family and loved ones

These are our reasons for taking control of your finances and trying to respect this resource, to enable it to go as far as possible towards living your dreams and following your purpose.

Check out the Rapid FastTrack program for more information.


Finding your Purpose

Finding your purpose and passion in life is a monumental milestone in anyone’s life. Some people are lucky enough to have a deep seated understanding of why they were put on this earth from a young age, others take longer to find their true calling in life. Sadly, vast proportions of the population never explore this concept or are even vaguely aware of it.

It is so important that you find what you are passionate about, then make this your work or at the very least, allow work to fulfill your passions in other ways.

Knowing what to do with your life

So many people we have worked with over the years constantly complain about not knowing what they want to do with their life. The sad part is when these people are approaching retirement age with a limited number of years left to find this purpose.

This is where the Rapid FastTrack program comes in, one of our goals is to help you find your true calling in life and learn how to live your Purpose. If you are interested in learning more but not quite ready to join us, perhaps start your journey with a book? A favorite of ours is Purpose by Lisa Messenger.

Rapid Mentoring - Finding your Purpose

Purpose by Lisa Messenger

Ultimately (hopefully), we all want to be happy and live a life that we find fulfilling and enjoyable. To have a sense of purpose, reduce our stressors and do the things we enjoy with the people we love!

Bare Soul Retreat

Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to attend one of the Bare Soul Retreats on the sunny Vanuatu island of Bokissa. The retreat is run by Simone Jeavons who is the founder of the Bare Soul Retreats. Simone is an organisational psychologist who is an extraordinary retreat facilitator a professional executive coach, 200RYT Ashtanga Yoga teacher, meditation teacher, ka huna massage therapist and all round positive influence on the world.

Here is my recount of the retreat:

Day 1

12.30 pm flight from Brisbane to Espiritu Santo arriving at 4.15 Santo time. After a quick shuffle through customs and step outside Freddie is ready to deliver me to the boat, we load my luggage in and naturally I try to get into the drivers side. After a quick ride in the old hi-ace, no seat belts – no worries, he drops me off at the jetty which is completely vacant… No one around, no boats, no signs… am I even in the right place?? A few minutes later a few ladies are dropped off with boxes and boxes of food, two minutes later a boat arrives – Looks like I am in the right place.

The boat ride is breathtaking, crystal clear water, a volcano smoking in the (far) distance as we skirt our way around a few tropical islands before pulling into the Bokissa jetty (again with the beautiful clear water, visible coral underneath and abundant fish everywhere. We are off to a good start.

Simone, meets me at the jetty and we head up to the bar for a few drinks and dinner with the other retreat members – incredibly we are the only guests on the island!

Day 2

After a terrible sleep (could hear the waves rolling in all night), its time to roll out of bed and trundle down to the beach for a yoga lesson followed by a guided meditation and then breakfast.

Once breakfast was done a group of us decide to kayak around the island, 15 minutes in and I am regretting the decision as the lactic acid kicks in, not long later and it wears off and we all settle into a good pace, back in time for lunch.

Afternoon consists of a quick swim, a massage and then a values session beside the pool with Simone.

Dinner was lobster mornay – I am honestly considering going back just for this…

Rapid Mentoring - Bare Soul Retreat

The view from my room

Day 3

Slept much better thanks making it much easier to roll out of bed for our morning yoga, guided meditation and breakfast. Today’s adventure is the Malo river cruise and kayak to the blue lagoon – Amazing, simply stunning. A few of us decided to test ourselves and climbed the tree overhanging the blue lagoon and dropped the 6 or so meters into the blue spring water below. BBQ lunch on the beach followed by a snorkeling tour. Later that night we went coconut crab spotting.

Day 4

Morning yoga, guided meditation, breakfast – the usual routine followed by snorkeling the coral off Bokissa island where we ran into a few local turtles and loads of fish then a massage before one of the best salt and pepper calamari’s for lunch – tough life…

Afternoon consisted of a one on one coaching session followed by a fishing charter where I managed to bring home a decent sized yellow fin tuna.

Yet another amazing day.

Rapid Mentoring - Bare Soul Retreat

Turtle off Bokissa

Day 5

Unfortunately this is my last day of the retreat, same usual routine of yoga, guided meditation, breakfast, massage, swim in the ocean.

Absolutely no anxiety about leaving, the retreat has been amazing and I know I can always come back.

The boat picks me up at 3.30 and returns me to the jetty where Freddie is waiting to take me to the airport.


Well there you have it, what an amazing experience! I cant thank Simone and the staff at Bokissa enough for such a fantastic experience. There is so much more that I haven’t included – you will just need to go along yourself to discover!

In case you are wondering, the retreat cost $3,900 all inclusive (the fishing charter was $60 extra) plus your return flights to get there and back (I flew air Vanuatu return from Brisbane for a bit over $450)

Check out the Bare Soul Retreat Website here:

FastTrack Program

Here is a brief overview of the Rapid Mentoring FastTrack program:

New member are set up with a unique username and password granting them access to the Members section. Once logged in, they are directed to their My Profile page. From here they can:

  • Customise their My Profile page
    • Add info about themselves, upload a profile photo, create a bucket list, track goals and much more.
  • Head straight into the 9 Power Packed course modules

My Profile

The My Profile page is here to capture your progress, record all your important results and to give you a home for your personal development goals.

Rapid Mentoring - FastTrack Program

Rapid My Profile page

Program core content modules

Our 9 power packed modules are ready and waiting for you to tackle in the members section. Here is a quick overview of what you can expect:

    • We recommend starting with the All about You module. This is where you will discover all about yourself. We have personality profiles, values assessments and much more on offer in this module to help you learn more about who you are and what makes you tick.
    • The next module you under take is up to you, here are your choices:
      • Finance and Investing
      • Landing THE Job
      • Career Development
      • Purpose
      • Stress Management
      • Mental Strength
      • Future Planning
      • Personal Development

All modules are a complete learning package, with key course material, external links, books to read, personal experiences, bonus reports and much more to keep you engaged. Each module will take a minimum of 1hr to complete depending on how deep you want to go into the additional resources.

The picture below is a snapshot of how each core category is laid out. This is the All about you section.

Rapid Mentoring - FastTrack Program

Additional Content:

Additionally, members receive ongoing email updates covering the following:

  • Weekly update email with Q&A from our members
  • Three separate monthly emails:
    • Deep Dive – we take a closer look at one of the 9 Core Categories to stretch your knowledge
    • Book Review – explore our reading list and our synopsis of books read this month
    • Members Time – our members get a chance to spread their news, great stories, book reviews and updates on their progress


Find out more on the Rapid Mentoring FastTrack page