CEO and entrepreneur Emma Isaacs forgot to draw up her life plan, and she doesn’t have a list of five-year goals. And she certainly doesn’t believe in work/life balance – after all she has five children and heads up Business Chicks, Australia’s largest community for women.
Dropping out of uni and buying her first business at the age of 18, Emma also secured her first investment property at age 19. Coming from a hard-working, middle class family, Emma always knew that her keys to success would be guts, grit and determination – and not being afraid to take risks. Her mentality has always been, ‘If it is to be, it’s up to me.’
It’s fair to say that one of the biggest risks Emma has taken was at age 26, when after attending a small event by a company called Business Chicks, she discovered the business was for sale. And the rest is history, with Emma growing memberships from just 250 to 45,000 women in Australia, and recently expanding to the US!
Emma is quick to point out though, that no one has an easy journey, no matter who you are. No one has it all sorted, least of all herself (cue rocking in the corner of a cupboard with a wine…!). And she vehemently maintains that it’s impossible to have it all! It’s just about focusing on the important stuff, especially when it comes to her five children. As long as she is there for stories, for quality time and cuddles, everything else can wait.
One thing that Emma has in spades is perspective, and there is nothing like your daughter being diagnosed with cancer at the age of four to give you a big dose of that – and resilience. As she says, once you experience watching your child undergo months of chemotherapy, ordinary day-to-day problems just don’t seem that significant.
There is no denying that Emma is one of the great success stories. Not only has she built an international empire with Business Chicks, she has also raised over $12 million for charity and has just published her first book – Winging It. Yet the basis of everything she does and where her passion most strongly lies, is in encouraging women to be bold, to be courageous and to take risks. To believe in ourselves and not give up on our dreams.
So, are you ready to wing it?!
The Centennial Homestead
1 Grand Drive, Centennial Parklands, Sydney.
Tel: 02 9380 9350
Enter Centennial Parklands either via Robertson Gates off Lang Road, or Darley Road off Alison Road.
Free on-site parking at the venue for guests.