2010 Slowing down to speed up | White River Design
It took a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and plenty of tears but we had managed to sell and redirect our attention back to WRD.

Slowing down to speed up.

Slowing down to speed up. 2010 was a year dedicated to getting DirectoryCentral flourishing for the simple aim of selling it. With such a clear goal in mind, it meant that we put our heads down, set our KPI’s and we worked with laser focus to achieve this. It took a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and plenty of tears but we had managed to sell and redirect our attention back to WRD. In the spirit of sharing we found my original sales pitch video.

Building a business for sale

WRD staff slow down

Our team may have been small, but we were mighty! We leveraged off our collective expertise to deliver great value and service that ultimately lead to a profitable business and a successful sale. Building a business purely to sell requires an entirely different mindset to the one that we have had for WRD which has longevity, a lot of brand equity and of course a personal connection to Debbie and her life here in Australia. We learnt a lot that year. For one, growning a business for sale is not easy but it is rewarding.

My first BDM

We knew that we couldn’t grow the business as quickly as we wanted without help. Enter Corrienne Dias. Corrienne was our first Business Development Manager and we are the first to admit that without her, there is no way we would have been able to grow the business the way we did. We won’t lie. It was hard. The GFC had left businesses stunned with many closing down.
Getting them to purchase advertising space was not easy. Corrienne involved herself in the community to ensure that she had her finger on the pulse. She spoke to their pain points and ultimately got the job done. The success of the sale also meant that Corrienne was not with us for very long, but her contribution to our journey will never be forgotten.
slow down speed up WRD BDM

Your health is your wealth

thyroid removal slow down speed upThis photo was taken 2 months after thyroid surgery. For years Debbie had been struggling with energy, focus and exhaustion. She had had half of her thyroid removed when she was 17, however it seemed an extremely aggressive nodule needed to be taken out. As a mum of 2 kids and running the business Debbie assumed that everyone felt as depleted as she did – after all, when she mentioned how tired she was, all the other mums would agree. However, within days of having her thyroid removed (and a benign result), she was astounded at how much energy she suddenly had. She even ran the City to Surf that year! For too long she struggled along thinking that this was normal, yet in her gut I knew that it wasn’t. It’s worth taking time to get your health sorted.

Publicity never hurts

What is far better for your business than talking about yourself?

When others talk about you of course. We kept our finger on the pulse, we got involved in the business and local community and for this reason, we were often contacted by the local papers to make a comment or provide content for their publications.

This was a great way to build credibility and awareness for our businesses. Furthermore, it helped out our local papers who were always happy to receive newsworthy articles.

WRD slow down speed up

 We did have time for some fun

All work and no play makes everyone bloody boring. So we would frock up for Melbourne Cup, head out to awards and have a ball or two. This is for everyone who has commented and had a good laugh about our fashion over the years… And when we say “our”, we mean Debbies!

Having a ball for a good cause

WRD Ozwac Tara Dennis slowing down to speed up

Part of supporting charities is to attend the events that they put on, buy their raffle tickets, teddy bears or auction items.

For years OZWAC ran an annual ball where Tara Dennis was the MC. Debbie and Melissa Browne would track her down and have a photo with her. They like to think that they became best friends with Tara, but she would be unlikely to recognise them, even if she fell over them.


Unsolicited advice #8

Your health is your wealth. Look after yourself – mentally, physically and spiritually. It is very easy as a business owner to put yourself last, especially when you have the responsibility of someones school fees or mortgage hanging over you. Like an aeroplane that is about to go down, you’re instructed to put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. The same applied in business. If you are the business owner are fit and healthy, then you are far more help to your team, clients and business than if you run yourself into the ground. Burnout is real. It is debilitating and it is hard to come back from. Be kind to yourself and look after you first.


Who loves a good holiday

For many business owners the thought of taking a week or two off is unheard of, but imagine taking 6 weeks off? That is what the O’Connor family were able to do at the end of 2010. They went back to South Africa to spend time with Debbie’s family and to take the kids around and explore more of the country. Admittedly 3 of these weeks were over the Christmas close down period and our quietest time of the year, but still a huge milestone for any business owner to achieve. Have you planned a holiday for this year yet?

WRD Slow down speed up

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

Published: Feb 13th, 2023