About Robyn Henderson
Robyn has authored and contributed to more than 30 books on networking, business and career development and self-esteem building over the last 20+ years. She has spoken in 12 countries and has never advertised – all her work comes from networking, referrals, her websites: www.networkingtowin.com.au , www.writeitforme.com.au
Her career includes 22 years as a professional speaker, 10 years in sales and telemarketing management and 13 years in hospitality. Robyn also successfully ran women’s networks in Sydney for 6 years in the early ‘90s and was listed in the Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame (1997) and listed in the Top 100 Spirited Women of Australia (New Woman Magazine). Robyn was presented with the Speaker of the Year award from the National Speakers Association of Australia in 1997 for her contribution to the speaking industry.
From 2007-2009 Robyn held the role of Executive Officer with the National Speakers Association of Australia where she grew membership to 600 members. And is the only Australian to have been awarded the the 3 awards – Speaker of the Year, Nevin Award and the highly prized Walter Dickman Award (2010), giving her recognition for her contribution to growing the speaking industry in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2003 Robyn was honoured to be appointed Adjunct Professor at the Southern Cross University Australia. she completed the Diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledge and is currently enrolled in a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Policymaking.
Lesson 1. Your book becomes your business card. 05:14
Lesson 2. When it comes to Social Media: go where your clients go 12:11
Lesson 3. Create systems 17:55
Lesson 4. Value your worth 22:03
Lesson 5. Respect your audience 28:43
Lesson 6. Ask yourself, what is this person here to teach me? 32:01
Lesson 7. Be clear on your Why? What? How? 34:12
Lesson 8. Stay present – stop catastrophising 38:00
Lesson 9. Stay connected 44:32
Lesson 10. Invest in your profession. 50:08
Robyn Henderson – Be clear on your Why? What? How?
[00:00:06] Robert Hossary: Hello, and welcome to 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn where we speak with sages and luminaries, gurus, and professionals and ordinary people. And we dispense their wisdom, not just information, not just me facts.
We dispense their wisdom to an international audience of rising leaders. My name is Robert Hossary, and I’ll be your host on this episode. This podcast is supported by the professional development forum, which helps diverse young professionals accelerate their performance in the modern workplace. Today, we have a treat for you.
Today’s guest is Robyn Henderson. Robyn has authored and contributed to more than 30 books on networking business and career development. And self-esteem building over the last 20 plus years. She has spoken in 12 countries internationally and has never advertised her work. All the work comes from networking referrals.
Her career includes 22 years as a professional speaker, 10 years in sales and telemarketing management. And 13 years in hospitality. Robyn has also successfully run a women’s network in Sydney for six years in the early nineties and was listed in the businesswoman’s hall of fame. Robyn has also been presented with the speaker of the year award from the national speakers association of Australia, for her contribution to the speaking industry in Australia. Robyn, welcome to the show. And thank you for speaking with us today.
[00:01:33] Robyn Henderson: Thanks Robert, for that wonderful introduction. I forgot some of those things. It’s interesting when you look back 50 years. Oh, my goodness.
[00:01:44] Robert Hossary: You did do all of that and I was there for some of that too.
[00:01:48] Robyn Henderson: You were, You were Yes. Yes. Back in those size salespeople with a purpose day and national still speakers.
Yeah, for sure.
[00:01:54] Robert Hossary: Yeah. No. Well, we really appreciate you coming on. The fact that you are known internationally as a networking guru, is why I wanted to introduce our audience to you. Networking is something that a lot of people have neglected or forgotten, especially during this post pandemic or in the pandemic era that we’re in.
People don’t realize how important keeping a network going is.
[00:02:23] Robyn Henderson: Staying connected. Definitely.
[00:02:25] Robert Hossary: Staying connected. Well-put Robyn let’s get straight into it. I’d like to ask you a very unique question. We are 10 lessons it took me 50 years to learn. So, we talk about the lessons we’ve learned through our career.
I would like to ask you now, in hindsight, what is one lesson that you wished you had known early in your career or earlier in your career?
[00:02:52] Robyn Henderson: Early in my career, look, I think Robert we’ve wasted or I, I wasted so much energy worrying about things in case they happen, you know, and I think the big lesson is staying present, actually being in the moment and not worrying about, oh, what if this happens?
Or what if, what if this person doesn’t bring? Or what if that book doesn’t work or whatever. So, staying present I think is, is the one I, I wish I knew years ago, and I would have just prevented so much worry and, and, uh, not necessarily anxiety, but at times it would have got to that level of anger. Oh, what if this, what if this happens rather than just be present, be in the moment and trust that that whatever’s meant to be will happen.
That would have been lesson.
[00:03:41] Robert Hossary isn’t that amazing because that is such a simple, simple little thing, but it takes years to develop that ability, that skill
[00:03:53] Robyn Henderson: and trust and trust that it’s okay. Now, every everything that happens in the day, everything person you come into contact with, you’re meant to know.
And, and you stuck in traffic. Well, maybe you’ve been placed. You’re going to, you’re going to be a couple of minutes late or half an hour late, but you’ll run into someone there that. You wouldn’t have run into, had you been on time, so big believer in that. Just stay present.
[00:04:18] Robert Hossary: Yup. Yup. No, I, hear you. it is very valuable lesson and the wish I wished I had known that, and it reminds me of one of our guests that we had on the podcast, Andrew Tindall and the audience probably sick of me repeating this because I mentioned him quite often.
He’s there was one particular lesson, which, which links in with what you just said, which is this too. Shall pass.
[00:04:45] Robyn Henderson: Yes. Yeah. I’ll Andrews man after my own heart. Absolutely. Yeah. And, and that’s for good and for bad things that you can be on the roll, and you think, whoa, I’m rocking it and all of a sudden, you’re not.
Uh, so yeah, this too will pass. Yeah. So, so just make every day, count that’s the thing.
[00:05:08] Robert Hossary: Present, stay present. Wonderful. All right.
So, let’s, let’s get straight into your lessons Robyn.
[00:05:14] Lesson 1: Your book becomes your business card.
[00:05:14] Robert Hossary: Lesson, number one, your book becomes your business card. Now for an author like you, that has over 20 books out there.
I understand this, but I’m curious to, to hear. Your take on this lesson.
[00:05:30] Robyn Henderson: Okay. Thank you. I was very blessed to have a mentor in the early days, early days of speaking, and it was Doug Malouf who’s recently passed away. Doug was, uh, at the time in my opinion, a very dynamic speaker and he was the, the speaker I wanted to be like as a female, I wanted to be a female Doug. And he generously, I went to, I saw him speak somewhere.
He was running a course. I went to his course. And he said, I came up to him at the end of his presentation and said, oh, oh, I just want to be like you, I want to be a speaker. And he said, look, I’m going on, on the road for six weeks, which I had no concept that speakers did that back in the nineties, but he did.
And he said, I’ll be back so-and-so, I’ll give you an hour of my time. Well, I was so nervous about this hour, but basically in that time, in the early nineties, Doug said, write a book. And I said, oh, what about he said, well, what are you passionate about? And I said, and at the time, walking power walking was something that I, well, I was interested in, and he said, well, you know, I don’t know about power walking.
And he said, is it, can you write much about that? And I said, well, you just move your arms. Not really. And he said, well, what else did you do? And I said, well, I run a women’s network. And I said, get so frustrated. Everyone sits together with their mates set up and talk to strangers. And he said, oh, okay write about that.
Oh, okay. Then. I took him at his word. And, uh, when I went to the national speakers in the, in the states, um, conference, which, you know, one of our other points is about investing in your business. But most of the speakers that were on, on the podium had books. So, I came back thinking, oh, gee, I’m going to write a book.
And next Hitchins who both of us know, I said to me at that conference, oh, so what are you taking away, Rob from the conference? And I said, oh, I’m going to write a book called networking notes for the nineties. And he said, I’d work on the title. But the book idea is a good idea. So, I came back and, I didn’t have a clue how you wrote a book.
I made every mistake. There is possible. It probably costs me more to get it edited and proofread and types it and print it back then than it would today. Miles more. Um, but I leaned that book, why the book becomes the business card is whatever your topic is. You’re actually put a stake in the ground and say, this is my topic.
This is what I know about. And I guess for me, my books and articles and things in blogs and stuff. I write these days there about the mistakes. I still write about mistakes I made that I learned from. Oh, don’t do it this way. Here’s a better way to do it. And people said, but why would you give away all your, some people said, why would you give away all your ideas?
They’ll just copy you. And a bit like you Robert or our attitude I think is yeah. But if we all improve our game, it’ll be such a better game rather than thinking, oh no, I’m only going to give 50% of my knowledge away. It’s like, he. Have we got long enough for me to tell you everything, you know, he’s reading the book, makes it, see, it makes it easy for people and it builds your credibility.
So that that’s where it comes into with it. It being your business card in and give them a way generously, you know, you don’t have to think about, oh no, you know, this has cost me X, you just go, here you go. Here’s a book. And it’s the quickest way for someone who’s wanting to book you to speak at a conference to give them a book, shows that, oh, okay. She’s got this. And if you’ve got a couple, you know, I remember once being in, room with some, it was a large bank in Australia and, there were four of them and I said, oh gee, oh, and I pulled out four books and I gave them a different book each and they said, oh, so-and-so is writing a book.
And I said, oh yeah, I heard he’s writing it. When’s that going to be finished? And I said, oh, well, mine’s finished, you know, please yourself, And just lifted at that and it is about your credibility. And look, I doubt those bankers ever read that, read any of the books, but my, their estimation of me was she knows what she’s talking about, and she knows enough to fill four books.
And you don’t have to write four, just, just write one, but you know, be proud of it.
[00:09:28] Robert Hossary: I see the logic and then I’ll take the devil’s advocate stance here. what if you don’t feel confident enough to write a whole book, especially today? what is your take on that lesson, but in a modern, uh, in a modern spin, Write a blog, write several articles, write an article a week. What do you think of that?
[00:09:53] Robyn Henderson: Oh, perfect. And all of those articles ultimately become a book. You know, that’s, that’s what books are. They’re just chapters of words. And just to give you an idea, and you would know this with your recording and your transcriptions and things to, to have a conversation for an hour is roughly five to 6,000 words.
So, the average business book is around 20 to 25,000 words depending. And do you want to make it 80,000? You can, but it’s thick. And if you’re self-publishing, there’s another whole weight and all sorts of things that go into it. But why, what I asked you, because I ghost write books for busy people and, and when they, they ring and, or we speak after, however they’ve been introduced to me, I always ask, why are you writing it?
What are you trying to achieve with it? And how are you going to do that? So, For people who think they can’t write a book really quick way is to do an outline. Okay. So, I know we’re going a bit off topic here, Robert, but to answer your question, do an outline.
What are the 10 points about X that you know about 10 points? What are the must put in the book? Must not. Okay. And then if you, you could do it on zoom, you could just record it to an audio and go, okay, let’s tell me about, so you transcribe it, you, you talk about it, you transcribe it and you’ve got 80% of it written there.
So, it’s not so much. You’ve got to sit and write the words out because English might be a second language. You might want to want the book translated into another language. You can do all that, but it’s really about, you’ve got the knowledge and, this is one of the ways I work with the ghost writers, you know, just let’s have a conversation and I record the conversations.
That’s the content for the book. So, For the person who says they can’t write it, find a way that works for you and audio recording and zoom is, and transcription is a very, very easy way. You don’t have to take five years to write it, you know, seriously.
[00:11:50] Robert Hossary: I see what you’re saying. And the main point here of your lesson is become that subject matter expert by publishing something that gives you the credibility, your knowledge, sharing your knowledge, gives you the credibility and that then becomes your business card.
I see that. And what a great lesson.
[00:12:11] Lesson 2: When it comes to Social Media: go where your clients go
[00:12:11] Robert Hossary: All right, well, let’s go to lesson number two. this is probably dear to my heart, lesson number two, when it comes to social media, go where your clients go.
[00:12:21] Robyn Henderson: Yes, I’m very passionate about LinkedIn. I visit Facebook once or twice a year. And there’s the distinction to me.
I’m a really good time manager. And part of doing that is going, I can’t, in my mind, I have income producing and income generating hours in every day. Like all of us do. And I choose how many are put in either. Now, if I’m going to spend hours just wading through Facebook, like my youngest niece might do.
She got all the time in the world. I don’t have that time to me it’s about where are my clients? So, I’ve got to preface this by saying it depends on what your business is. Facebook is a great market for some businesses, to me, retail Instagram, all of that. It’s visual. They wanting to see what you’ve got.
What’s come in today. That’s great. That’s your market. My market is. LinkedIn because of the corporate nature of that. I have really simple systems on LinkedIn. So, I, and yet I only spend 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn. If I choose to have a bit of a spurt and send out, invitations or for connections, I might spend longer.
And I might multitask about have Netflix on and be sending, sending out some invitations. But what I, what I am really clear about with LinkedIn, if someone approaches me and says, uh, well, sure, they might make a comment on a post. I do. And I, actively look for sharing good posts or creating them, myself and whatever.
And that’s, again, a way of sharing knowledge. But if someone says something like, oh, I’m interested in, presentation on networking or, you know, would you come to so-and-so to speak at this thing? I go, oh, I’d love to talk to you about that. I’m available today between this and this or tomorrow between that and that.
And what I find is that sometimes it does cut into evening, or it does cut into weekends, but if I’m home anyway, and I’m prepared to take a phone call, I’m more than happy to have it. And I’ll, I’ll preface it by saying, so it might be something like, you know, how do I write a book at well, how long is a piece of string?
I could talk to someone all day about that. So, I’ll say, okay, we’d love to talk to you about that. It’s quicker for me to have a phone call then or a zoom than it is to write, type it out. Here’s my number I’m available between this time and that time, or tomorrow, this time, that time or whatever, give them options.
I’d suggest that you get your three top questions that you want answered, and I’m prepared to give you 20 to 30 minutes complimentary after that there’s a fee. Now do I watch my clock and go, oh, well you’ve had 29 minutes. You’ve got to go no half the time. Those people, what I’m doing in that. And I don’t hold back. I don’t not tell them something.
I’ll give them names of printers, all sorts of different things. If that’s what they asked me in that, in that 20 to 30 minutes, my thought is in that 20 to 30 minutes, I am building my credibility. I’m not saying, oh, well, I’ll give you this, but I’m not going to give you that. I’ll just go, what do you want to know?
Here you go. And I know that in that 20 to 30 minutes, I can save them money because I can tell them, you know where to go. This is what I’ve used. My preference is not to use, you know, this or not to go down that track. Here’s what I would do. So, in doing that, I build my credibility. I’d say out of those, people that are, that do bother to ring, or do take the opportunity to ring or arrange a zoom.
I would convert maybe 90% of those people. And some may not be, I’m going to work with you the next week. It might be, well, our conferences a year from now, or, you know, we’re planning ahead or I’m going to write a book whenever. Those, that don’t or those that don’t bother to ring. Well, if I can’t have a conversation with them, I’m never going to work with them anyways.
So, it’s a time management thing, but you’ve got to make yourself available and be prepared that if the person isn’t available, okay, well, I’ll follow up with them. Or if they say, oh, well that’s not convenient. Okay. Well, let me know when it is or here’s my email so that you’ve got some sort of system of just keeping in touch with them.
But LinkedIn is my market. And, and I believe again, you want to be generous with your information and not just waste people’s time and not just hit them with a buy me, buy me. No, that doesn’t work because remove connection is very easy, easy. It’s easy. And I’m doing a lot of that. They say with people that put inane poles, they’re going, oh please, this isn’t Facebook, or this is not business.
So, it is just having, having a system rather than cause systems I know is one of our points. But it’s, going. I want to value my time and I, don’t have hours and hours and hours. I’ve got to go. This is income producing. But I can spend a million hours on it, you know, but I know that there’s some people that I need to look at LinkedIn on Friday nights or Saturdays.
That’s when they respond.
[00:17:18] Robert Hossary: Yeah. Well, let, let’s get back to your lesson, go where your clients are now, your clients are on LinkedIn. So, you go there. If your business is selling arts and crafts and it’s, he might be where you go, you might go to Pinterest. So, there’s all of these different platforms.
And I think the lesson is very clear, which comes back to marketing 1 0 1 sales 1 0 1 type of stuff.
[00:17:46] Robyn Henderson: Who’s your client?
[00:17:46] Robert Hossary: Who’s your client? and then go, where they go, what a wonderful lesson, but everything you said also segues very nicely into your
[00:17:55] Lesson 3: Create systems
[00:17:55] Robert Hossary: next lesson, which is create systems, lesson, number three, create systems.
[00:18:02] Robyn Henderson: I know we’ve got a cross section of listeners, so I, I chair a board for a not-for-profit and, we’ve got seven new board members through circumstance, seven new board members out of 10 this year.
Now to me, it’s like, okay, well, let’s not reinvent the wheel let’s and we’ve got five subcommittees. Let’s get the terms of reference from the previous year and I’ll just update them now. So, I’ve got them in a folder terms of reference, because I don’t want to search a million. I don’t know where to find it.
I’ve got lots of folders, but I can find things really quickly. And that’s what systems give you the ability to find things quickly. So, I could upload them when I volunteered, because you’ve got a new secretary. And I said, how about I just go to our cat herder, and I do it this month. And then I’ll sit with you next week when I’m up in Darwin.
I can go through how it works. So, I went in, and it maybe took me 40 minutes yesterday to upload for the meeting. I know had she done it as a one-off it probably would have taken her all day, which wasn’t fair to her as a new secretary. So, if I track it back to LinkedIn, the thing that, um, I know I’ve written all these books, but technology’s not, I’m getting much better at technology, but I wouldn’t say it’s my strength, but I joined or I subscribed to Canva, so I’ll go in there. I’ll get a lot of, they have a lot of pre-made posts, download them, put them in the month that I’m going to put them in January, February, March, whatever. And then once I’ve used them, I put them in the used January. So, then I had January, February, March, and then I could go back and go, well, do I want to do that one again?
Or I just delete it. So, you’ve got a, a system so that, you’re not doing the same thing a million times, and the same with books, you know, years ago I wrote one big document of don’t ever do that. You know, 20,000 words, you get the wrong version, you don’t track your changes, all sorts of things. Now it’s one chapter at a time, so that if you’re going in, you’re just changing one chapter.
You’re not, it’s not dependent on this whole big document. So, systems just save your time and anything that you’re doing more than once, I believe you need a template for, and, and imagine if you started this 10 lessons in 50 years and every time you did it, you went back to, oh, okay, well, let’s do the screenshot.
Let’s do this. No, you’ve got a template and that’s why it works for you. And you can do it in a time efficient. way And that’s what that’s what systems are for.
[00:20:31] Robert Hossary: So, you’re so absolutely right. and again, your previous lesson proved that. I mean, if you, your time management on LinkedIn is a system, you develop that system, and it has paid off for you. It’s given you additional work has given you new clients. So, systems work. I mean, I can go tell you about my career, where systems have actually promoted me, given me more opportunities, because I developed something, the company has used.
[00:21:07] Robyn Henderson: Yeah. And how can you be a salesperson or business development, we’re all in sales in some capacity, but a business development role and not have systems?
[00:21:14] Robert Hossary: Yeah. We’re reinventing the wheel every time that’s inefficient. Absolutely efficient. So, systems work. So, create systems, ladies and gentlemen, because it is going to make your life so much easier.
[00:21:31] Robyn Henderson: I think it was Steve jobs. Oh, I hope I don’t misquote him, but I think he was the one who said, employee lazy people, who will find the quickest way to do something they’ll invent a system. Now I’m not a lazy person, but I thought that’s logic, you know, because they will go this taking too long. let’s find a quicker way to do this and it is about time management, but it’s also that you’re not reinventing the wheel for sure.
[00:21:56] Robert Hossary: But a powerful lesson. Create systems. That’s very good.
[00:22:03] Lesson 4: Value your worth
[00:22:03] Robert Hossary: Let’s move on to lesson number four, which is something that I find really, really good, which is value your worth. So, I’m just going to leave it to you to explain that one.
[00:22:16] Robyn Henderson: Okay, well, this is probably another one that could have been answered in that first question.
When you said, what do you wish you’d known way back we underrate, or I can’t speak for everyone. I underestimate my knowledge and I did for many years. And. that’s why this system that you have with these 10 lessons, it’s very effective because you’re getting people to, to share, uh, things that might’ve taken them 50 years to learn, but in a, in a very, um, social and friendly way.
But when you don’t value your worth people, many people in my experience can take advantage of you. And I give an example, this is going back many, many years ago. And there was, uh, uh, one of the very early women’s conferences. It was held at the Boulevard hotel in Sydney. And, uh, there would have been, well program was way too heavy, loaded.
It had like 12 speakers in one day, and keeping to time was a nightmare, but anyway, I knew 11 of those 12 and the conferencing company that ran that event gave us a big spiel about all, you know, this is the first one we’re doing for women, blah, blah, blah. None of the speakers are getting paid.
Well speakers talk and somewhere by lunchtime, it was pretty obvious that two of the speakers were, and the two that were being paid were not necessarily high profile, anything they had just negotiated way better than the other 10 of us had. And so that sort of went around and when we were getting the organize of feedback, it was, you know, don’t underestimate that there’s a network of people here who speak and you must value our worth as well as theirs pay no one, but make sure none of them get paid.
Don’t pay some and not others so that, you know, that that’s just a quick story of, of an example of that, but it’s not, it’s like the plumber that comes in and, you know, fix the tap. It’s not, um, banging where that, where they know to bang, the spanner on the, on the thing to make it turn. It’s about how many years have they worked at their craft whatever the craft, whatever their profession is to hone their skill. So, I can rattle off. And we’ve had the conversation about, you know, multiple streams of income out of, writing a book or, or creating this program and different things that you can do. But I only know that because I’ve made lots of mistakes over the years.
So, I think valuing your worth is saying to someone, if I want to waive my fee to ghost-write or to, uh, help someone in any, in any capacity, more than happy to do that, if I choose to do that. But when I allow people to, um, and, and, and my, my standard, if someone invites me to speak at something would be, what’s your budget.
I don’t say my fee is I say, what’s your budget. Okay. That sometimes throws people because they go, well, I don’t have much or, well we’ve only got or whatever. And I go, okay, well, if you tell me what your budget is and I make the decision yes or no, I’m prepared to work for that, that fee. Yeah. That’s my choice.
Or if they say, well, we haven’t got a budget, it’s a not-for-profit or it’s a charity or something. Okay. I ask the question, is anyone else being paid once bitten, twice shy. So, it is you make a call every day, but being a self-employed person, as many of our listeners are every day, I start at zero. So, if I don’t build something, if I don’t create something every day or a part of something, that one day I’ll be able to charge for whether it’s a new program or a book or something, a product, or a resource of some description.
If I don’t work on that, then I’m still on zero at the end of the day. And if I do that for a month, that’s, that’s a tough month because there’s no income coming at all. So, valuing my worth was something that I didn’t do in my early days. And I certainly do now. And as I say, if I choose to not charge or to reduce the fee, that’s my choice.
But I, I like to make that choice, not have someone try to, screw me down on a no, where we’re only doing this and, lie actually about what the situation is, I’m sure Robert you’ve had situations where you’ve spoken at a conference and they’re spending more on the morning tea than they are on your fee.
And it’s such an insult. So anyway, I don’t do that anymore, but, uh, I did, I did get caught.
[00:26:49] Robert Hossary: it’s a very valuable lesson and it, not just for speakers, anything in your life. Uh, one of our very early podcasts, we, we had, Jacob Butler and he had a lesson that’s very similar to that.
And he was a native American, artist, and he would make pots, in a native American traditional way. And he decided one day to sell it at what he thought it was worth, as opposed to what he thought he could sell it for. And he was blown away by the fact that people were prepared to pay what he was asking.
and it’s, the same lesson. It’s not just for speaking, it’s for everything. If you value your worth and value your time and a value on it, then again, it raises your own self-esteem it raises your own profile and raises your own credibility.
[00:27:47] Robyn Henderson: Yes. and the final point on that, Robert would be those who charge fee for service.
Many of our listeners would be not necessarily a speaker, but a fee for service in some, in some field. I personally, rather than again, this is time management, so it all sort of ties in. Rather than may sit at a three-day conference and watch a variety of speakers or this one person speak for three days.
And, and I get to ask an odd question here or there. I would rather say, what would you charge me for two hours of your time? I don’t want to buy them lunch. You don’t want to do that sort of social thing. I just want two hours of your time. I’ll come to your office, I’ll present the questions, or we can do it over zoom, whatever you like.
Just tell me what that will charge, because I would rather have that person focus on my situation for two hours and pay a premium for that, than give three days of my life to sit in a conference where 95% of its irrelevant.
[00:28:38] Robert Hossary: What an excellent point. I agree because I’ve been to those conferences as well, so, yes.
[00:28:43] Lesson 5: Respect your audience
[00:28:43] Robert Hossary: All right. Well that takes us to lesson number five. lesson number five, respect your audience.
[00:28:51] Robyn Henderson: Yes. Oh, well, if we relate back to the early nineties, when I ran the east coast businesswomen’s network, and, and yes, it was a free presentation for the, for the speakers.
And we were certainly, we weren’t registered as a not-for-profit, but there was, by the time he paid the hotel and everything else that was around there wasn’t much profit in it. And our member speakers would show up and they’d go, oh, well, I was driving in this afternoon, and I thought, oh, what am I going to speak to them about?
And I would be highly offended that that’s how they treated my members. I would really just sort of arch up and say, oh, well, she might get, well, he won’t get invited back again and I’d feel so insulted. So, I, I look at it this way, whether it’s, I mean, you know, Karratha or Darwin or Adelaide or Gosford, I don’t wherever the location is irrelevant.
And today, of course, it’s wonderful to be able to do these over zoom. I want to respect my audience. They have given me every time you record these, they give you an hour of their time. And whether they’re multitasking and driving while they’re listening to it or whatever, they give you that time.
They can never take it back. You can never give them that time back. So, I have to make sure this is my belief. I have to make sure that I prepare, and I make it relevant. And I customize content for that audience. And if I don’t do that, I’m insulting that audience and I, I, and I’m disrespecting them more the point.
And I think with, with clients, depending on what service you’re, offering, it’s the same thing. It’s not just cookie cutter. There are very few businesses today, well, other than food and maybe some, some retail that are just this one we’ll do for everyone. it’s not like that.
Whereas you go to something like Booktopia or Amazon they’re smart enough to go, well, if she likes this book, she might like all these other ones. Oh no, not quite. Oh, okay. Not, she’s not. They keep testing to find what is she going to buy? What will make a buyer second book or a third book or whatever. So, we’ve got to keep that sort of thing, respecting our audience, not, insulting them and don’t, don’t assume don’t make decisions for your clients without first consulting them what they want. So that’s respecting, whoever your clients are.
[00:31:11] Robert Hossary: And that is a very valuable lesson. You’ve got to respect your audience, your clients, whatever you’ve got to respect the people you’re dealing with.
Because that, that is the basic tenet of being a human being is respecting the human beings. So don’t forget to do that. That is a great lesson.
[00:31:32] Robyn Henderson: And I think, I think also Robert, you know, just a final thing there across cultures, if you were in a multicultural world and respecting the difference in culture, people get that, regardless of which, which culture it is, they understand respect.
And when you show respect, They’ll often respond to that. And in terms of networking, you break down those barriers much, much faster just through, respect. So, I think that that’s, it’s a really important point.
[00:32:01] Lesson 6: Ask yourself, what is this person here to teach me?
[00:32:01] Robert Hossary: Okay. So, let’s move on to, this is probably my favourite. Robyn, lesson, number six, ask yourself, what is this person trying to teach me?
[00:32:15] Robyn Henderson: Mm, yes. Well, sometimes you don’t like the lesson, you don’t like the lesson. You don’t like the situation. It can be a really awkward situation for you or uncomfortable or whatever it is.
But energy follows thought, you know, and whatever is in our life. This is my belief. We attract into our life to learn a lesson. Sometimes that lesson might be an illness. It might be a, a really negative experience. It might be a wonderful experience, but we we’ve really got to look at it and just go, what am I meant to learn out of this?
What am I meant to learn out of this? And sometimes it takes us years to get the lesson. What I’ve noticed is if you ignore, you know, the little message that you get there, you get it in a bigger version, a bigger version, a bigger version until you really get the lessons. So yeah, what’s this person trying to teach me.
[00:33:13] Robert Hossary: Yeah. If I could give a practical example of that, of what you just said, if you can all take a step back in time and think about when you were children and think about what your parents said to you and how you ignored it and how later on in life it happened. So that is what Robyn is saying. you know, it might take you years to actually acknowledge that it was a lesson that you had to learn.
and I’ve said this in a podcast that I was interviewed in, which is when you ask that question, don’t neglect to ask the follow-up question. What can I learn not to do from this person?
[00:33:58] Robyn Henderson: What could I have done differently? Yes. Yeah, yeah. How could I’ve changed that?
Yeah. And it’s happened. So just make the most of the, of the learning is to, will pass Robert as we know.
[00:34:12] Lesson 7: Be clear on your Why? What? How?
[00:34:12] Robert Hossary: All right. Lesson number seven. and I think this is probably the pinnacle and very, very important. At least for me, lesson number seven, be clear on your why, what and how.
[00:34:27] Robyn Henderson: Yes. I also didn’t get this one for quite a few years and I learned it from.
some of these really big, big lessons. I mentioned Doug Muller before and another great teacher for me has been Alan Parker who, who I know, is a mate. We have in common. And I learned that from Alan. It was a situation I was in it at the time. And then him saying, well, you need to ask why they need this person.
What are they wanting you to achieve, and then you will work out how to do that and why, what, how, and I would say, oh boy, it might be, um, it’d be more than 10 years ago that Alan gave me that tip and I still do courses with him these days. And I did say to him, uh, maybe about a year or more ago, you know, I use that why, what, how every day in some way, in some way, either I’m talking to someone or, you know, they want to write a book, or they want to change careers. Why, what and how. And even with goal setting, why, why do you want that? Because if you’re not clear on the why you’ll never achieve the goal, that if you that, in my opinion, so the why, why you want it, what do you want it to look like?
What’s it going to look like when it’s finished and then how are you going to do that? What are the chunks you have to do along the way to make it happen? And if you’re coming together in a strategic Alliance or a collaboration, your why’s may be different. There might be individual things, depending on people’s life experiences that are influencing the why, but the, what you want the end product as such has to be the same, I believe for it to work.
And then you work out well, based on this. If we’re trying to achieve this what, then how, how are we going to do that? And this is a perfect example, this program, that you’ve got, uh, you may have different whys with your collaborators, but you’ve got a. very clear what you’re creating and then you go about creating it in your individual states and countries.
So, yeah, it’s, it’s another one I wish I knew years ago, but anyway, better late than never.
[00:36:42] Robert Hossary: Well, you mentioned, Alan Parker and Alan has been on our show, and he has, he has, and he has spoken about why, what, how so? I, I urge the audience go and find Alan’s, episode after you listened to Robyn’s. After you listen to this.
[00:36:58] Robyn Henderson: I will dig that out too. Cause I didn’t know that.
[00:37:01] Robert Hossary: You are so spot on Robyn If you don’t know why you do something, you not going to do it. It’ll never happen.
[00:37:09] Robyn Henderson: Well, yeah. You, you won’t hang in there long enough to reap the reward or to achieve the goal or whatever it is that you’re, that you’re striving for because you, you’re not clear.
There’s no clarity.
[00:37:22] Robert Hossary: And I speak from experience. Um, I’ve had a lot of million-dollar ideas, but I’ve never understood why I’ve wanted to do them. And so, I never did do them and now someone else has done them.
[00:37:35] Robyn Henderson: Okay. It’s okay. They’ve done their version. It’s a bit like books, you know, 10, 10 books out on courage, but you will write your book out on courage.
Yeah. So, it’s okay that, you know, there’s other people doing it and there’s lots of books on networking. I’ve think I’ve got a whole collection of them.
[00:37:53] Robert Hossary: But yeah, there might be a whole lot of books on networking, but Robyn you’re the guru.
[00:38:00] Lesson 8: Stay present – stop catastrophising
[00:38:00] Robert Hossary: All right. Well, let’s go to lesson number eight. Which is you touched on this earlier, so lesson number eight, stay, present, stop catastrophizing. That’s the bit that hooked me.
[00:38:14] Robyn Henderson: Yes. Yes. Well, it is that if I stay in the moment then, and imagine you trying to interview someone on this, and they’re thinking about their shopping list for later in the day, they’d be so distracted at a so insulting and disrespectful your listener base.
But the catastrophizing is all is energy that is spent on what may or may not happen in the future. And really the media is full of a lot of catastrophizing, you know, people giving their opinions and really not, not looking at the facts. And even more ridiculous waste of catastrophizing is stuff that’s already happened that you cannot change. And I was guilty of that for a long time too, you know, all this crazy. So, it is about you got to catch yourself doing it when you start to catastrophize or when you’re speaking to people. And sometimes, you know I mean?
There, there is a mental health crisis global in my opinion, and a lot of the anxiety and depression that I see amongst some of my friends is around catastrophizing about things that might never happen. And I just think, ah, bring it back, what facts you actually have on this? And that’s another one of Allen’s things is, you know, facts and opinions, that you can catastrophize on opinions, but let’s stick to the facts and let’s save a lot of energy.
You know, so and being present. If that all sounds a bit more woo-hoo then just being present, actually, you know, breathing with the person and listening to the person and listen, not to jump in and give your opinion, listen, to learn, listen, to understand that to me is being present rather than thinking oh, as soon as his finished, I’m going to, to get my next bit in.
You’re actually listening to learn and understand.
[00:40:10] Robert Hossary: What a wonderful point to make. Listen to understand. We we’ve discussed this on the show before and listen for comprehension, is so, so important for everybody. You know, it’s so important for the person that you’re listening to more so than yourself.
[00:40:29] Robyn Henderson: And it’s a conversation then.
It’s a two-way conversation and it’s, I think that’s why these podcasts are good because it’s like listening in on someone’s conversation. It’s not that they’re presenting or that they’re being interviewed, you know, it’s a conversation.
And I think that makes for really, really good listening because we’re not locked into oh, well, I’ve got to just …. You know, you’re contributing to the conversation, not just asking questions and that makes it really interesting listening just in my opinion.
[00:41:03] Robert Hossary: Well, I think this show has proven that you’re correct. Thank you. All right. Let’s, move on. Actually, before we move on to your next lesson, audience, we ask our, guests to give us 10 lessons so we can start the conversation with them. Robyn gave me 11, but you’ve, you’ve touched on one with the stop catastrophizing, which is respond to facts, not opinions.
Now, what I’d like to do quickly is just go over that just for a few seconds. because especially today. And you mentioned the media, all the media does is catastrophize and they do. But especially today with the polarization of this planet, not just our country or, other countries, but the planet is, polarised for some unknown reason. But your point there to, listen, to respond. To respond. And that’s the word that I want to focus on. Respond to facts, not opinions. Can you just elaborate on that a little bit before we move on?
[00:42:07] Robyn Henderson: Sure. I think if we are, I’m an avid newspaper reader and a hard copy. I know I have actually taken up a subscription this week.
That takes me all around on go around Australia and on any paper, I’d have taken that up. But I do like a hard copy, and what I think an end if I relate it to newspapers and then to our sort of free to air channels, many people are interviewed. They’re giving their opinion. They’re writing in the newspaper about their opinion of. The government or leadership or COVID or vaccination, or they’re writing their opinion. And I think that sometimes the reader or the viewer gets so caught up in, oh, well they said it on TV. You know, like it was, the police were saying, you know, the police give facts like police interview is a very different to everyday interviews.
Police give facts. This happened, there was a crime. We can’t talk about that. We can’t say who did it. We have suspects. They give facts. Opinioners write oh, I think this might happen and I think that might happen and let’s have a go at this. And then you have this feeding frenzy where you get this opinion and that opinion, and they could be you know, the world’s going to end tomorrow and then it’s, oh my God, the world’s going to end tomorrow. And all this stuff just gets fed and fed and, and on Facebook and Twitter that feeding frenzy can take off. So, I think we just got to pull back, pause, take a breath and go are these facts. And when it comes to a lot of the medical things, I want a doctor, I want a scientist.
I want someone who’s not being paid for their opinion. I want someone who actually knows what they’re talking about rather than just doing what I call a puff opinion piece.
[00:44:08] Robert Hossary: We can talk about this for hours because I have, I have very strong feelings about this and my soap box, probably three soap boxes.
I stand on about this, but we won’t. But thank you Robyn And I agree with you. Please people respond, respond to facts, not opinions and try and figure out the difference between the opinion and a fact.
[00:44:32] Lesson 9: Stay connected
[00:44:32] Robert Hossary: okay. Lesson number nine. lesson number nine, is your mantra stay connected?
[00:44:42] Robyn Henderson: Oh yes. Look, it’s, very interesting, in the COVID world. and if we go back, you know, the twelve months is how do we stay connected when everything is virtual? And there was probably a period where, oh, there were that many online seminars we were doing, you know, free webinars and filling out diaries thinking we had to be connected.
Then we had like zoom fatigue and all that. Staying connected to me. So, here’s, here’s what I said to a client the other day. She’s got a, um, it’s a, agricultural business and, uh, she had invested a lot of money exporting and had all these connections all around the world. And I said, okay. So why don’t you invite them all?
I get you get the time zones, but how about you just split the world down the middle and go there roughly on an eight-hour time zone. And you might have to split in four, but you know, get the time zone. You work to suit them and bring people together on the most convenient time zone. And just say, I’m just bringing four of us together I thought it would be great for you to meet each other. So, you host just like taking four people out for lunch, you host a zoom and one hour and here’s the agenda. So they go, well, we’re going to do self-introductions. Then we’re going to talk about what might be. If you’ve got a level of trust, what’s something you need help with at the moment, we might be able to help you.
And you collaborate with those people. And she got so excited about the whole thing. And I said, she said, oh, but you know, I’ve got a hundred clients and I went, yeah, great. Well, that’ll take you 25 sessions. And I said, but what else are you doing? It’s like, I’ve got all these, I can’t do this.
But it was really about saying, how can I remind them? And yesterday I was doing a, a webinar with Alan, it was a negotiation program that he’s doing. And, in one of the breakout sessions, there was a lady there who, again, was trying to do this international thing. And I said do you do much on LinkedIn?
And she said, no. I said, okay, well, you’ve got a list of how many people on that list you’re talking about? And she said, oh, there’s 25. I said, great. Look them all up on LinkedIn, looked at their most recent activity. And once you start commenting on that person’s activity that will feed into your feed every day.
And then you can just, they’re seeing your face. I said, if you’re just phoning them once every nine months, they’ve forgotten who you are, you know? And the big thing with staying connected when I see someone on LinkedIn or there might be a past client, or even a potential prospect that might’ve dropped off the radar a bit, I will send them a depending.
I also want to know, are they a, a text person or an email person, or are they on LinkedIn or, you know, in their world all the time, which is the best way to get them to respond. Uh, because speed of response to me is important. And I’ll say, have you got time for a phone call and. I’ll make it it’ll be between this time and that time.
So, so it’s not like this endless, one hour phone call, but have you got 20 minutes? You know, we’d love to run something past you and always asking the question with anyone. Is there anything I can help you with? Or is there something that you worried about? And you might not be able to help them, but sometimes just listening to someone talk about this situation, they actually know the answer and in doing that you’re helping that connection.
So, visibility’s still important, you know, be seen, get known, move ahead, still important and just finding ways to keep in touch. But that’s why I really love LinkedIn because you really can open so many doors there and get active in groups and all sorts of stuff. That would be my way of staying connected Robert.
[00:48:18] Robert Hossary: Look, staying connected is, something I learned from you. In my time in the U S, I made sure that my network back in Australia, while I was building a network in the U S my network back here was still active. And I still remembered who I was now, of course, your network ages, you age.
So, you are going to lose some people, some people in your network may, be, become so senior or retire that they’re no longer effective as sales or leads for your business. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth knowing, and they’re not worth remaining in touch with. And I learned all that you. So, I, no, I, seriously, when I say Robyn Henderson is the networking guru of this planet.
I am not kidding. So, Robyn, you not only taught me, you taught a lot of people how to do this. And you know, some of the words that you have just used, how can I help you? Is there anything else I could, I still hear that from people in my network who learned the same thing from you?
[00:49:33] Robyn Henderson: Yeah. You can’t always help them.
You can’t, sometimes there’s a finite thing, but just offering a suggestion, you know, what about, what about, and, oh, and look, this lady yesterday, or I know the agricultural one she’s done well with, with the ideas of bringing people together, but that’s what it’s about. So, you don’t let, a virus or, or technology take away your ability to connect you find you find ways around it. Yeah.
[00:50:01] Robert Hossary: Be there for people be a connector, be a connector yep. A topic that we could spend hours on.
[00:50:08] Lesson 10: Invest in your profession
[00:50:08] Robert Hossary: But let’s move on to lesson number 10 and I, again, love all your lessons, Robyn, but this one, this one is one I personally take to heart because I’ve been doing it for a while.
I know you have lesson number 10, invest in your profession.
[00:50:25] Robyn Henderson: Yeah, look Robert. I think that it’s about lifelong learning. I’m 68. I mentioned before. And so, all these, these, um, these 50 years of learning and I was probably in the workforce from about 16, what I have learned along the way. And when I talk about writing to school, children and teenagers, and I say, if you want to be a good writer read, I love books, I, I, I invest good money in books, fiction.
Non-fiction all sorts of different things. I I’m still doing courses. And I said to the person, one of the breakouts yesterday, I said, oh, I’m doing Allen’s course about negotiation. Don’t actually want to set myself up as a negotiator. I just wanted the knowledge. And that is it to me that you’re, you never stop learning because if you get to the point that you think, you know, absolutely everything.
You’re arrogant. And I think what I’ve noticed with the people that I respect the most is they are humble, and they might know a lot about one thing, but they don’t know, and they don’t pretend to know everything about everything. They just go, this is my lane, I guess, to use the language today.
This is my lane. Sometimes I veer over here, but this is my lane. But learning to me, you’d never stop learning. And I think, uh, when you see Alzheimer’s and, and various things that when, when people are in, um, some, some of the aged care and retirement villages, they’re old before their time because they stopped learning.
I really believe that
[00:51:54] Robert Hossary: I agree with you. Exactly the same thing, because it’s important to learn. I’m constantly doing courses I’m constantly studying and it’s not because just like you, not because I want to be, uh, an analytics data scientist
[00:52:12] Robyn Henderson: it’s because I don’t want to do that.
[00:52:15] Robert Hossary: It’s because when I speak to one, I want to understand what they’re saying to them.
[00:52:21] Robyn Henderson: Well, that’s a good, that’s good research.
[00:52:23] Robert Hossary: And so that’s, the, the veering into the lane, but this is my lane and I stick to it. Robyn that has been absolutely wonderful. And thank you for sharing such wonderful nuggets of wisdom with us. over this past few minutes, let me finish up by asking you the question that we ask everyone in your career,
what is it that you have unlearned? so something that you held onto steadfastly and now you’re going, ah, that wasn’t the right thing to do.
[00:52:55] Robyn Henderson: well, it’s interesting Robert. Cause when, when you, um, gave me a heads up about this, I thought of lots of different things, but then I thought about, uh, accountability.
And the thing that I had to unlearn was not holding people accountable in my life for lots of different things. You know, whether it’s family or friends or whatever, so they’d commit to do something. But then in a staffing situation, they’re asked to do something, and they don’t do it. And rather than, to use a phrase, get them off side by going, hold on.
Um, this was meant to be in by four. How come, it’s not a, you just got all that. It’s like, oh, well, she’s had a bad day. He’s done this, you know, that’s happening. So, unlearning that not holding people accountable, you are doing them a disservice because they will grow up to be unaccountable employees or unaccountable bosses, and they’ll get away with stuff.
And what’s the point, we’re all doing our best. So, we want to be, if I say, I’m going to do something, I want to be accountable for that. and that would be the thing that, that I wish I knew. Decades ago.
[00:54:10] Robert Hossary: That is powerful Robyn to realize that all this time you were just being nice, and I use that to
[00:54:20] Robyn Henderson: letting people off the hook off the hook and in being aware of that, you’ve also got to hold yourself accountable.
[00:54:27] Robert Hossary: Correct.
[00:54:28] Robyn Henderson: So, don’t over-commit. If I say I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it or I’ll get back and say, Hey, you know, today’s blown out. Can’t do it by four. How about tomorrow by eight? You know, communication. Yeah. But holding yourself accountable, I think is, is for what you commit to very important.
[00:54:44] Robert Hossary: Well, let’s, that is a wonderful, unlearned lesson, but it’s also very good one. So, on that note, we’ll finish up today, Robyn, thank you so much for being with us today and for sharing all of this wisdom with us. Is there anything you’d like to leave our audience with before we go?
[00:54:59] Robyn Henderson: Oh, look, I would just encourage all the listeners to listen to these podcasts, to go back to, you’ve got such a vast library to go back and make it even boy, one a day a couple of weeks, you know, just use it as like a, you know, when you’re driving or even just sitting, working in an office rather than just having blah, blah, happening in the radio or radio, listen to this.
Like it’s, it’s amazing. Even you can do it while you’re working. Just to listen, to learn, and you’d be amazed how positive when you, when you’re listening to a positive conversation, what an impact that can have on you and the people around you. So, yeah, that’d be my final thing. Just this, this is a great resource and just use it.
[00:55:47] Robert Hossary: Well, thank you Robyn Well, there you are. Ladies and gentlemen, listen to learn. And with that, I’ll say, thank you. You have been listening to 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn.
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