2003 I wish my big break had to do with what I knew. | White River Design
I wish my big break had to do with what I knew.

I wish my big break had to do with what I knew. But the truth is, it was about who I knew. #networkingworks

This blog post is all about 2003 – my first big break

I wish my big break had to do with what I knew. But the truth is, it was about who I knew. I shared with you in a previous blog that when I started my business, I didn’t know anyone. I felt alone and isolated, so when it was strongly suggested that I network, I joined the Home Based Business Network (HBBN). At one meeting, the guest speaker was talking about branding. Of course I was enthralled. But what interested me more was that Jane Holdsworth, CEO of the Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation (PVEDC) mentioned that they needed a new logo and anyone was eligible to express their interest. To make a long story short, I was lucky enough to have my design chosen which then lead to…


Working with Penrith City Council

Jane Holdsworth then recommended me to Penrith City Council. I designed many different logos for Council that were used for services such as Animal Services, Community Safety, Play Vans, Waste Services etc. It was so exciting! I still work with Council on projects when they need help. Read newspaper article.

Debbie O'Connor - Home based businesspenrith city council


Unsolicited Advice #1

I think after 20 years in business, I have earned the right to share some gold nuggets of advice for those starting out. Advice #1 would be to network. As I mentioned before, I joined the HBBN but in my second year, I also became a member of the Penrith Valley Chamber (which I am now Vice President of, so I am clearly a big supporter). I’ve joined many networks over the years. Some I have stayed in for many years and others served their purpose for a shorter time. There are a range of groups available and it is important to find the ones that work for you both business and personally.


small business and red tape

I’m not political but…

I never thought I’d be in a position to know or meet politicians. But Australia is an amazing country where small business operators like myself had opportunities to talk directly to decision makers. The conversation that I had with Joe Hockey, Minister for Small Business at the time, ensured a significant change was make to Superannuation for sole traders.

My most loyal client

Nepean Regional Security is my longest standing client who I still do work for today. Gina Field, the founder and CEO contacted me saying that as a woman in a male dominated industry, she needed something to set her apart from her competitors. She felt that branding was her silver bullet – and she was right! NRS is now the most awarded security firm in NSW.

nepean regional security
white river design www

Getting onto the World Wide Web

Now I’m really going to show how long ago I started business. I was one of the few businesses in Penrith to have a website! There was no Facebook or other forms of social media. No Mailchimp. No smart phones and SMS’s. My site was a 7 page static website. Oh how things have changed.

A message from my Mum

Not many people know this, but my maiden name is Pott. Yip – imagine growing up with a surname like that? It certainly builds character. Add in the fact that my dad’s name is Huffy and my mum is Cherry! There was never a dull moment in our family of 6. This is the message I got from my mum after I sent out the first email about celebrating 20 years in business.

Brilliant, my Darling!  You have certainly worked incredibly hard and achieved so much! Hard work, tenacity, pride create success. Your fortitude, initiative, innovation and perseverance has been amazing – I am SO proud of you!
Love you too much!  XXXXXXXXX

PS: You’re never too old to appreciate mum’s loving words

Pott family

Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: Jun 6th, 2022