10 minute interview with Alison rogers of pulse business services
27 January 2016
I first met Alison Rogers at a Ripple Effect for Leaders workshop a few years ago. What immediately drew me to her was her generosity… her generosity to share and connect. I met her at a time when I was still unsure of my place in the business world despite owning and running a very successful business, I didn’t know my purpose and my authentic “why”. I have learned now that without knowing your true purpose and calling, you will never truly experience fulfilment, no matter how successful you are. But, even more importantly, and something that I have learned observing what Alison does every day, is that without a pure intention of helping others succeed, you cannot truly experience the joy of success… the joy of helping others to find their fulfilment. For this, I want to thank you for inspiring me, Alison, and for inspiring a whole community of empowering women. I am truly blessed to have your influence in my life.
MD: Thanks so much for taking the time to have a chat to me today. Can you tell me more about Pulse Business Services and what you offer?
AR: We are a boutique public accounting and business advisory practice with a unique approach to business growth and sustainability. Offering both the art and the science approach to provide a holistic process. We have collectively 40+ years’ experience in accounting and consulting. The company hasfour divisions: Public Accounting, Business Advisory, Marketing, and Networking services. Our main aim is to relieve business owners of the stress that is very often attached to their business so they can begin to enjoy their lives again and really “live” the reasons for establishing their business in the first place.
MD: Yes! Being in business myself, we sometimes get so busy with the day-to-day stuff that we do forget why we went into it in the first place. It is so important to have that reminder by your support network including your accountant and business advisor. You are the Executive Advisor of Pulse, what does your role entail?
AR: I bring people together to connect authentically and identify or create opportunities to maximise sales and marketing effectiveness to promote a healthy, sustainable business development. I love others until they remember how to love themselves! I foster connection and spark conversations to achieve ideal outcomes. I share my story and what I’ve learnt along the way. I do this by coordinating and convening our networking service, Ripple Effect for Leaders; and provide consultancy in sales, marketing and business development. I also conduct group based action meetings, and manage the advertising and marketing service side of our business.
MD: You are one busy lady! Perhaps busy is not the right word… In all my interactions with you Alison, I can really feel this love from you, you love what you do and you really inspire that in others through your networking. We met through the Ripple Effect for Leaders that you founded. Can you tell me more about what led you to set this up?
AR: Networking has been an integral part of my marketing strategy since my very first business. I was already heavily involved in a number of business groups in a leadership capacity. Then, at aged 38, I discovered that I was pregnant with our third child. I had told myself that if I was ever to have another child, I would be a full time Mum. Our eldest two children were corporate babies, but I took them to work with me everyday. I was able to have that flexibility of having them close by but still work on our business by employed a full time nanny and we leased a room in our building for a nursery. This had its benefits however I wanted to do it differently this time. I began to prepare for being in business with a baby by my side. This included placing any breakfast and evening networking events on hold. Living 40 minutes south of Hobart whilst breastfeeding also presented a logistical challenge. So, I create a home office but, I also missed the adult interactions working in my home office as my husband, Patrick, headed into our city office most days. Given the importance of networking to our business development, I decided that I should venture out and create networking opportunities during the day time. There was a significant gap in the market for regular business community get-togethers during lunchtimes. With this in mind, I decided to reflect on what an effective business community meant to me, what the biggest challenge in the networking space was, and how my skills and network could be of value to business and community leaders. All too often I was hearing, “ I tried networking, it just didn’t work for me” or “ I’m always the one providing the referrals and not getting much back”.
So, with this in mind, and baby Tadhg by my side and a committed mother to care for him during the meetings, I created Ripple Effect for Leaders. I set a simple context of responsibility, and embarked on a journey to inspire the business community to network in a different way.
MD: Connecting with people is really important to you. Tell me more about this and about your values and how this is carried into your business and your networking groups?
AR: To me, relationships are the stuff of life. Being connected first and foremost to self and then in turn relatable to those around you is what creates a meaningful life. Love and connection is my highest value and my intention is to ensure my interaction with others supports this. The other values weaved through my business practices are communication, contribution and collaboration or co-creation. By fostering connections and engaging in effective communications and approaching relationships with a view to adding value to others, we create opportunities and impact the lives of others, who will in turn be inspired to share their own stories and serve others as a result. The name of our networking service, Ripple Effect for Leaders came about through my passion for this very thing – the idea that one thought or act rippling out to impact a much wider community positively. I truly believe that conducting business with this approach is integral to sustainability. Connection with others and connecting others is a wonderful catalyst for personal growth and witnessing the ripple effect in action. With each of the services I offer, achieving a new level of self-awareness for my clients is at the core of the offering. The emphasis is on awareness of who we are being as we network, fostering authentic conversations without an expectation of a return, rather a willingness to contribute in a way that enables others to secure their optimal outcomes.
MD: What do you love most about what you do and why?
AR: I love to learn and become a better version of myself each day. This process keeps me interested, inspired and experiencing love and joy daily. I achieve this by engaging in conversations with others, through their stories. At the same time, I get to see my clients create a better life for themselves and experiencing their own joy and love for their life, business and the people in them. One of the other benefits of being a part of a caring community is the support and guidance that naturally occurs. When things get tough, there is always someone who will stretch out a hand and go through it with you.
MD: This sounds like a very rewarding existence for you on a personal level as well… You create the ripple effect… So, tell me a bit more about yourself. Who is Alison Rogers?
AR: I think I am still discovering that myself! I’m a bit of an enigma. At this point in time, I am first and foremost a partner and a Mum. My family brings me so much love and joy. I am ambitious and driven yet I allow things to flow. I love being with people but I also revel in quiet times all by myself. I start my days early and with gratitude for all that I have. I love beautiful, luxurious and exquisite things but I am just as happy with simplicity and basic living needs. I love words and the magic they hold. I also have a creative side, but am resourceful and logical. I’m a romantic, passionate and emotive person too. I am a curious, tenacious problem solver. I like to keep active and be on the go. I love to discover, research and contemplate. I am Tasmanian born and bred and, whilst I am happiest in warm humid weather, I have only ventured out of the state for 2 years to live in a warmer climate. I live on a small acreage in a beautiful village nestled along the D’entrecasteaux Channel, forty minutes south of Hobart.
MD: That sounds absolutely beautiful! I know you have many passions outside of what you do professionally, tell me more about these? I heard you were in the Olympics!
AR: I have many passions. Sport, especially at the elite level, having represented Australia in Olympic weightlifting in the past. Music, with very eclectic tastes from heavy metal, R&B through to classical and anywhere in between, except country and western! I have played the piano and clarinet, and also been in a renowned choir in my younger years. Food is probably one of my bigger passions and an easy way to inspire me. I love food in all the different ways that it inspires! I love to research nutrition, cook, dine out, photograph it and entertain with it. I also love motorcars and motor sports - anything fast, loud and powerful. I am also a homebody, but I love socialising and exploring as well. I am a morning person and delight in watching the sun come up to greet my corner of the Earth. I am also a book enthusiast, mostly non-fiction and I love watching. I’ve been in business since the age of 16 and have endured both tough and ecstatic times. I also love volunteering with Whitelion, encouraging disconnected young people to reengage and be the best they can be. I approach life with a calm, open mind and love openly. I thrive when I’m living life with energy and enthusiasm for learning, growth, and connection.
MD: I know that balance is very important to you. Does being successful mean having balance in all areas of your life?
AR: I believe that balance is a myth! I have eight areas of focus in my life and to have these all exactly as I’d like would be unlikely. I won’t say unachievable… Nothing is impossible! But, I believe in Life/life balance as opposed to work/life balance. Work is part of our life! I also believe in planning for the imperfect, as that is exactly what life serves up. If we expect the imperfect, we can strategize and prepare, and therefore achieve and not live in disappointment, guilt and discontentment. I have a very strict way to manage my activities and move towards my ideal life.
MD: I totally agree… There is no such thing as work/life balance… there is just Life! Make sure you spend time doing things that you love, love your job and if you don’t, make it into something that you do love! Be the creator of what you want in your life! Can you give some strategies or tips of how other mums in business can aspire to this balance?
AR: Know your highest values, these will serve you well when making choices, planning business activities, offerings and life priorities. Plan - remembering to plan for the imperfect and have strategies to meet these challenges. Personally, I have created weekly blue prints for each week of the month plus school holidays (so, six in total) that encompass my ideal and these are based on the eight areas I focus on in my life. I also have a monthly schedule blue print for each month and lay out my annual commitments, projects and priorities. Develop 90 day plans based on your annual aspirations and be focussed. Look after your heart. Nurturing yourself first is so important to the effectiveness of your contribution to others. Journal, meditate and be present in all that you do. Know that you are exactly where you are meant to be right now! You don’t need to impress anyone. Reflect at the end of each day and ask yourself what went well, what not so well, how can I adjust to improve tomorrow and why. Brain dump all that you would like to accomplish and write it down. Work out the activity that is the most important and do that one thing. Once it’s completed, then and only then, move to the next most important thing. If only one thing gets done today, you’re still moving forward. I have an 8-1-8 strategy I use to encompass this. “No” is a complete sentence. Focus on who you are being, then the “do” and the “have” in a world where the “have” often comes first. There is no mould for balance- we are all different. Find your optimum rhythm, and you will find things will flow. Be love. Celebrate. Rest.
MD: I know you’ve had a diverse career. What has led you to this point? How did it all evolve to this point where you are at the top of your career?
AR: Circumstance, timing, ambition and choice! Whilst at school, I realised that I could relate to others well and was sought for advice and support, even from the adults in my life. I soon became interested in wellbeing and assisting others to create a great life, and embarked on a direct selling journey. I also found that I inspired younger children and when choosing my first job, having had experience through babysitting for family friends, peer support roles in high school, I chose child care as a flexible role. I studied my Fitness leader Certification whilst in this role and was given the opportunity to be the development officer for my own sport (weightlifting) and grabbed hold of it with both hands. While I was involved in competitive sport, I soon realised that this was both physically and emotionally demanding, having taken on a number of athletes to coach, and not conducive to high performance outside of work. In my 20’s, knowing that days at a high level in sport are numbered, I chose a role that involved very little physical activity and one I could leave behind at the end of my day to focus on my training. An office junior role stood out at me. Turns out, this was in a relationship consultancy and changed my life forever. And no, I didn’t leave it behind at the end of the day, I bought the business from my boss 18mths later! One of my employees introduced me to Patrick after my first marriage failed and of course the rest is evident in our beautiful family and our growing business. I don’t know that we ever get to the top of our career and I for one, have massive plans still in progress, however I have realised that my experiences to date are no accident and are an integral contribution to the wisdom, skills and tools that I impart to my current clients. People skills, communication, relationships, personal performance and wellbeing principles have all been tried and tested and fine tuned over the years and I have intricately weaved romance, sport, motherhood and business into an approach that I’m excited to bring to the business landscape.
MD: I love seeing your sunrise pics on my facebook feed and I know you get up pretty early and make time for yourself. What inspires you each day to keep moving forward?
AR: The sunrise itself inspires me to get up, to me this is a magical moment that we all have the opportunity to partake in everyday. I’m very lucky that I have strong roles models in my life to develop a positive sense of self and my capacity to achieve those things that I aspire to. Being clear of my aspirations and a plan of action to get there means that I wake each morning with enthusiasm and great expectation. I believe that being the best you, you can be is the best way to serve the world and contribute to a better experience for each of us sharing it. Being disciplined towards a goal is something that has carried over from my sporting days and an attribute I am grateful to possess. This enables me to focus and keep the momentum up, especially when things challenge me. Rising early was something I recognised at a young age was great for my health and advantageous to get ahead and maximise my performance in life.
MD: Is there anything you would do differently now knowing what you know?
AR: Aahh… Hindsight! I’m not big on changing history or living in regret. I believe that my experiences to date have created me in to the person I am now and without them I may not be as far along my journey as I am now. There are some things that I can share with others to assist them on their journey.
Examples would be: It’s not about me! A life of significance is by serving others who need my skills, talents and leadership. Stop collecting things and start creating moments. Save. Know your numbers. Purchasing vs creating a business (pros and cons), the importance of self knowledge, mindset, communication, conversation and relationships. Wellbeing and the impact it has on overall success. How gratitude is a game changer. Presence and how this enriches your experience. Clarity, context and perspective – why these things are so important? Relatablity, and how to attract your market. Knowing your highest values. Managing your activities. Success habits. Read more. Nurture yourself before others. I could go on an on… So many learnings! The most important things I could impart is love, love openly and ask what would love do.
MD: What have you got planned for 2016?
AR: I have set a context of resplendence. To shine brilliantly, to embrace all that the year brings and seek qualities that bring pleasure to the senses. The first part of the year is heavily focussed on refining systems and processes in each of our divisions and creating value for our clients, preparing the business for taking on new team members and clients. There are new programs and also new projects to unveil as the year unfolds and I move out of maternity mode.
Walk more, especially with my shoes off to feel the earth. To enjoy stillness and silence more, and sit in the sun more. To dance more, and make things fun. Drink more herbal tea. Meditate and love more. Connect, inspire and empower. I plan to stay true to my optimal rhythm and lead a resplendent life!
MD: Thank you Alison! I look forward to many more inspiring conversations with you. I am always learning something new about myself from connecting with you. Thank you.
STAY CONNECTED, FOR THE LATEST MD NEWS & EVENTS: