Clare Bowditch is an Australian musician, who is perhaps best known for her appearance in “Offspring” on Channel 10.
She is also a damn good business woman, coach and mentor, supporting fellow artists through her involvement in various organisations. And she has a huge heart.
I first saw Clare in person at the Problogger Training Event in 2013 (or was if 2012?) and was drawn to her warmth and generosity.
Clare also performed at the World Domination Summit in 2013, after she ran the first, very successful, Big Hearted Business Conference.
Having heard some great reports about the Conference from friends, I bought my ticket to this year’s Conference with great excitement.
Firstly, what is Big Hearted Business?
According to Clare:
“BHB is here to teach creative people about business, and business people about creativity, in ways that makes sense.”
According to me, it’s about giving back, it’s about looking after our society and our planet, it’s about intuition and guts. It’s about changing the world for the better. In fact, the BHB tagline is:
“Do what you love,
Save the world.”
If you’re like me, this is exactly why you’re in business. To make a positive difference in the world around you and to have fun while doing it.
These very “unbusiness-like” parameters resonate very strongly with me and I felt like I was in a parallel universe the whole weekend. This was so different to so much of the usual business talk around me on a day-to-day basis. And the main reason was that it was run by a woman and the speakers were mostly women. We heard from Fabian Dattner, Missy Higgins, Danielle LaPorte, Pip Lincolne, Corren Wilkie (who manages the Cat Empire) and Jo Walker (editor of Frankie) to name a few.
This doesn’t mean that the business “nuts and bolts” were ignored. We also heard about accounting, grant submissions and the law. Every business owner needs to know how to register a business name, how to invoice and how to keep track of income and expenses. Even though we can hire experts to do that stuff for us, we need to know about it and how it works.
I was blown away by Fabian Dattner and wrote down a whole bunch of quotable quotes during her presentation.
“If you’re doing too much, stop something!”
“Women have always done 4/5ths of the labour and only get 10% of the compensation.”
“Failure shared, halves its power over you”
“We have never needed women to take a stand as much as we do now.”
I want Fabian Dattner to be my personal mentor – her stance on feminism is so refreshing and practical. She has written about normalising the place of children in our society, particularly in the workplace. Why do we lock mothers away in their homes while their children are small, instead of bringing them into the workplace and making the workplace human?
Missy Higgins told us to stop being ashamed of who we are and what we do. She said that if we value ourselves, then others will, too.
Danielle LaPorte talked about desire mapping.
Instead of setting goals based on what we want to be/have/do, she encouraged us to first decide how we want to feel. Earlier this year I ran a workshop based on Danielle’s book, the Desire Map, with some local business women and they loved the approach of starting their planning with the question of “How do I want to feel?” It felt whole, it felt intuitive, it felt right. We need to look at ourselves as a whole person when we plan, not just as a business. Our business is not there for its own sake, it’s there to make a difference in our and others’ lives.
Some quotable quotes from Danielle:
“Give yourself permission to want what you want.”
“Your art is your voice in the world.”
“Knowing how you want to feel alleviates suffering.”
“Your true nature is luminous.”
“We have a wounded, broken structure – an over materialistic, overly fierce world.”
“If you want to heal society, you have to honour women.”
And there was more. So much more.
There were 500 people at the Conference, 470 of them women. About half of us were artists, or creative types, while the other half were business people. Some of us were both.
I drove home thinking about everything I’d heard and realised that I needed to DO a lot more. To CREATE a lot more. To GIVE a lot more. I need to share my voice, my story, my vision with you, so you know who you’re dealing with.
I also want a much clearer vision for myself, not just my business. I realised that helping women and girls to see their true worth is a big part of what I want to achieve. Enabling them to share their art, their voice with the world, is the true drive behind my business.
Finally, I also got some insight into real, whole food. About the importance of the decisions we, as shoppers, make on the health of our planet. If we continue to buy mass farmed, mass produced, over packaged food, we are irreparably damaging the Earth. It was the first real breakthrough I had about this topic and although buying organic, locally grown, bio-dynamic food can be ridiculously expensive and bothersome, I can start with small changes in what we eat and hopefully, start making a difference.
If you couldn’t attend this year’s Conference, I strongly encourage you to check out the BHB Inspiration Bombs – “film and sound collaborations between artists, thinkers and teachers” – to give you a taste of this totally awesome way of looking at your business.