In this exclusive Q&A, we chat to Gemma Munro from leading Adelaide-based training and development organisation for women, Inkling Women, the 2013 My Business Award winner in the Women In Business category, sponsored by GIO.
My Business: Why did you start your own business?
Gemma Munro: For years people suggested the idea of starting my own business and I rejected it immediately. My reasons for staying in a corporate role were that I liked the security of a salary coming in each month, and I didn’t want the bother of administration. Plus, my husband runs his own business and I thought one entrepreneur in our family was enough. When I was pregnant with my second child we had all sorts of complications, which awakened a fearlessness in me. I knew for the first time what true fear was – and it wasn’t anything to do with too much administration, or even a regular salary. When my husband asked me late in the pregnancy how I felt about running my own business, a very different answer came out of my mouth – almost unexpectedly. I felt to create a business that enabled me to do what I felt incredibly passionate about, and at the same time create a life that enabled me to be more present with my family.
MB: How has your business evolved since its inception?
GM: I launched Inkling Coaching in 2011 to serve those with an inkling that life is meant to be extraordinary. 11 months into Inkling Coaching’s existence I realised there was an untapped need in the market. Women leaders were looking not just to develop the skills required to step into executive roles, but to learn how to thoroughly enjoy their careers and lives outside of work. I realised they were seeking a community in which to learn from and share with. In November 2012 we launched Inkling Women as the core part of the business, dedicated to inspiring women to create extraordinary lives and careers. Inkling has moved from being a lifestyle business to a thriving small business.
MB: What business challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
GM: When we were a little smaller we came across that traditional pickle of business owners – we went from overly busy, to three weeks’ holiday, to almost literally no work. I had a few sleepless nights! Since then we’ve become much more sophisticated with our tracking. We keep a very close eye on revenue, but also track our pipeline against our target, and review our leads list on a regular basis.
MB: What’s the best business decision you’ve ever made?
GM: To keep asking my team, ‘What feels juiciest? What feels easiest? What gets you out of bed with a huge grin on your face?’. And then to work together to shape the business in exactly that direction.
MB: What does it mean for you to be recognised as a My Business Award winner in 2013?
GM: Given we are a relatively new business, winning the award was a huge honour. And it was particularly exciting for us to win the Women in Business award, because that’s exactly what we’re all about. Our whole reason for existence is to inspire current and aspiring women leaders to create extraordinary lives and careers.
MB: What’s your key to great leadership?
GM: Employ team members who are as excited about the mission of the business as you are – and then place them in roles where they can draw on their unique talents and passions in service of something that’s meaningful to them.
MB: Do you have a business motto?
GM: Your purpose in life will be found in whatever gives you great pleasure. Shape your business around what you love to do and you will be of best service to your clients or customers.
MB: Moving forward, how’s the outlook for your business?
GM: Our team is tremendously excited about the next few years. We’re expanding to work across the Eastern seaboard, and we’re aiming to double our team and revenue next year. We’re working with hundreds of women each year, but we’re also touching thousands more through free weekly videos for women leaders. We’re loving what we do and are united in our views of how important this work is.
MY BUSINESS CONGRATULATES INKLING WOMEN ON BEING A DESERVING MY BUSINESS AWARD WINNER IN 2013.