Own your value and have a career you love

Our guest today, Heather Porter, is such an amazing woman that she’s had 2 careers. The first career in was in events and the second in digital marketing. This is a great interview and episode to listen to if you’d like to succeed in either of those fields but more importantly, if you’d like to know how to understand your own value and communicate it to the world. Without giving too much away, that is the secret to Heather’s success. And we are talking serious success, Heather has promoted and managed events in over 25 countries for her own music and art production company and for some of the world’s most well-known speakers such as Tony Robbins.

She Co-Founded the Billionaire Adventure Club where she connected entrepreneurs with mentors and worked with top charities such as Richard Branson’s School of Entrepreneurship. In the midst of all of her travelling she relocated to Sydney from California. She began consulting as an Online Strategist to build systems for the speakers and entrepreneurs who crossed her path.

In 2010 she Co-Founded the digital marketing and publishing agency, Autopilot Your Business, which specialises in automating businesses online. She also is a Trainer for the Digital Traffic Institute, co-host of a marketing podcast with fans in over 90 countries, #1 Amazon bestseller and co-author of 4 business books, and regularly speaks and consults on topics from social media to business automation.

Kylie

Welcome, Heather, thank you for joining us today. I’d like to understand a little bit more about your personal journey -- if you could tell us about your career journey starting from the early days.

Heather

Whenever I talk to people, I say I have two distinct careers. The reason I say that is when I started I was studying International Business in University, I studied that in San Diego California. Even when I was going in Uni, having a full time study load wasn’t enough; I had to have my own business as well (I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart). While I was studying I had an events company with my boyfriend at that time. We used to do arts fashion events in San Diego. When I graduated, my business wasn’t giving me enough money so I had to go and look for work. So I had this interview for an entry-level role and started in the customer service/admin. They said my personality didn’t fit in customer service; they want to put me in the operations. Then I got the job.  I was in the operations and IT and still moonlighting with my events business on the side. Then I was put in the events department and ran events for Tony for a few years in the states. I got the chance to go to Australia to run one of Tony’s events. I came back to the states after that event and undertook a lot of action to change my life. I moved to Australia with a visitor’s visa. I went on a personal mission to meet and help as many people as I could in Australia in my short time here. I eventually connected with people and saw how I could help them. I then got sponsored by a company and gained an Australian working visa.

The first ten years of my career was running events, building systems for speakers, training crew on site. That’s pretty my much my first career then my second career was in digital.

Kylie

When you understand your own value, what tends to happen is that people value you, they value your time, and doors open for you. That sounds like what pretty much happened to you.

Heather

Two things I would add to that were, the doing piece – “just do it”. The other key thing necessary to make such fundamental changes is, true belief. It was one day, when I was looking at a sunset and I just made the decision, I knew it was the right thing to do, intuitively. It was something I had to do. I was right in the moment and there was such a strong sense of “knowing”. Something massively shifted me in that moment where I could not see another option other than I was going to be living in Australia. For me there was no plan B.

Kylie

Where do you think that came from, that “knowing”? Is there any wisdom you can impart to our listeners?

Heather

It literally does start with recognising what’s going on in your own head – it’s as simple as that. When you get present with yourself, you can hear voices in your head better and you realise that you are not the voices in your head. The belief came with how I listen to myself – my inner voice.

There’s another point I want to bring up from career one, and that was all around value. I remember I was working for another speaker and he was quoting “you will get paid in direct proportion to the value that you give to other people”.

Kylie

Ultimately it is the value you can give – and owning that value. In terms of mindfulness and meditation practices, are you an advocate?

Heather

I’d like to do more. I’m absolutely an advocate. There’s TM - Transcendental Meditation. There’s a lot of science behind it why many successful people use it every day but also it reduces your stress, it gives you more vitality and vibrancy.

Kylie

There’s a Google guy who has written a book “Search Inside Yourself” that I really like, Chade-Meng Tan. He taught Google Engineers on how to meditation for focus and clarity and all the other benefits. There’s so much relevance in the practice for everyone.

Another thing I’d like to pick up before we go to stage two of your career – you talked about how early on you were in a technical capacity and running events and building systems. At what point in your career was it that you understood your unique strengths. When was it that you connected to the value you could bring?

Heather

I didn’t actually get that until the last two years. Looking back, I realised that I was a natural teacher and I see systems and flows and how they map together – definitely one of my gifts.

Kylie

You are absolutely head and shoulders above your competition if you could go in and clearly articulate the value that you bring to the business. So tell us now about part two.

Heather

Part two is me being a business owner. In my previous role I was an employee then became a contractor. One day, a Speaker came to me and asked me to translate his offline following and somehow put it online. So I said yes, since I’ve always have a fascination about the online space. In 2005, I built a membership site for this Speaker and we had 18,000 members at launch – and I loved it. And so I suddenly flicked from the corporate and employee space to wanting to get this message to Business Owners, Solopreneurs and Speakers to actually use digital to grow their business. In 2009, I started my own business – a small digital agency. So that’s what I’ve been doing now – I’m a Digital Strategist, website builder, scaler of businesses; you name it in the digital space.

Kylie

Tell me when you’re hiring, what are you looking for the top candidates that have made it through the selection process.

Heather

A lot of the hiring I’ve been doing had been done from a very reactive position, because you’re growing a business fast and there’s a moment when you have to get talent in. So it’s almost like whoever’s in front of you that is there for the moment – you hire them. The other way I hire people is through trialling them. I grew my team of 30 in the Philippines, a couple of people in the UK, I had people in the states, Australia and Russia. I had a very virtual team and I had local people as well.

Kylie

When hiring in the digital space, you need people that know their craft. So if you’re an expert on a particular platform you need to leverage that. More important that craft skills though is attitude. I may need a particular technical skills but in the long run I hire for attitude and train for skill.

Heather

Here’s how I hire and make the decision – it was the people that would come up to me all the time and say ‘Hey how can I help, what can I do next?’ – I would not hire. It’s the people who were too busy doing and improving the situation that I’d always hire.

Kylie

That’s a good point, because the intention is there – hats off to really wanting to help but you have to take the initiative, it’s about the follow through. Using that initiative in any role that you have is what’s going to get you forward.

Is there anything more that you’d like to leave our listeners – career wisdom that you’ve learned and want to impart?

Heather

Two things that I try to live by now – one is, “beyond fear there is freedom”. The stories that we put in our head can oftentimes make us scared to even make action because we’re concocting something that doesn’t even exist. So beyond fear there is freedom to live the life you want to live. The other thing is less learning, more action. This came from my seminar background – you can learn and learn and learn and talk and learn but talking and learning is so much different from doing. It is the people that do that get ahead, the action takers are the one that get ahead in their careers and businesses.

Kylie

Thank you Heather, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

You can find the amazing Heather at http://www.autopilotyourbusiness.com.