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Lessons from Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson

Alexandria Joy - Monday, November 02, 2015
At the start of the year I compiled a list of 50 leaders that I wanted to meet, interview and bring to you to share their insight, wisdom and energy.

Of course being an entrepreneur myself the #1 person on my list was none other than Sir Richard Branson. In early 2015 I was delighted to discover myself and my great friend Melissa Histon, Founder of The Sista Code, had been successful in being accepted to attend a Virgin Unite Leadership Gathering called "When bold minds and big thinkers come together" hosted by Business Chicks on Sir Richard's private island Necker. 

Virgin Unite is the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group, uniting people and ideas to create opportunities for a better world to shine a spotlight on unacceptable issues; to incubate disruptive collaborations and to empower entrepreneurs to change business by giving access to skills, support and capital.

Headed up by the super smart Emma Isaacs, Business Chicks was created to bring like-minded souls together – to give us a chance to swap ideas, share stories, and spark inspiration. They're a tribe of explorers and a band of big thinkers and I couldn't think of a better group of people to travel to a leadership conference in the British Virgin Isles with!

From the moment I arrived on Necker until today I have felt a definite surge in energy, an expanded reality about what's possible and a new way to view workplace environments. In the spirit of service and sharing I bring you my learnings and insights from meeting and talking to none other than Sir Richard Branson. 



Who inspires you? Who would you like to most meet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Be bold, think big, serve the world

Love 

Heidi Alexandra Joy

UQTV - How to Become an Awesome Employee

Alexandria Joy - Monday, October 19, 2015

If you're on the hunt for a new position or you want to become an indispensable employee who shines, then you want to understand the key traits that managers and CEOs look for in star employees. 

Some of the key traits they might be looking for are these three H's:

  • Happy: No one wants to work with an unhappy person. Energy drainers can bring down their team with their drama, mood and poor attitude and it's no way to earn brownie points. Do a quick self assessment - do you find yourself smiling at work, relaxed and conversing with open body language or are you closed, frowning and frantic all the time?
  • Hungry: No I don't mean you are in the kitchen snacking all the time! As the old adage goes, time is money. Leaders want people who are driven and hungry, who chase the sale, make the deal and get the job done efficiently and effectively. Do you make the most of every second? Do you hustle in your job duties? 
  • Honest: As an employee, you will be entrusted with inside information that's going to move the company forward. A leader doesn't want to have to second guess if you are going to deliver the work they're paying for and that you're not playing hooky or entertaining the competition. In short don't lie on your resume. Don't lie in your interview. Don't lie after you're hired. Companies don't run well and culture get toxic and poisonous when they don't have honest, decent employees in them. 
So how do you go to the next level and get known as a batteries included, star employee? Follow these three tips in this week's episode of UQTV.

Body Language For Interview Success

Alexandria Joy - Monday, September 14, 2015

Are you looking to land a new job? Then you have to use your body! I'm not just talking here about how you suit up, I'm talking about how you show up and communicate through your gestures, facial expressions and movements we make with our bodies that indicate what we think and feel.

The way we walk, talk, sit and smile is part of our everyday communication and it becomes even more critical in all important job interviews, because everything we do is scrutinised more closely and because due to natural nerves, are often exaggerated more than ever.

There are several ways you can effectively use your body at a job interview from making a confident entrance as you enter the building, to giving a warm, friendly, not a bone crushing handshake on entry into the interview room. 

Watch this week's episode of UQTV for three more body language techniques to help you put your best foot forward and be your best self in an interview situation.


Remember at the end of the interview to also leave a good impression, rise calmly, pick up your things without fuss, smile and nod your head to the panel. If shaking hands with everyone isn't convenient, at least shake hands with the person who brought you to the interview space or seeing you out.

Good luck!


Dressing the same everyday - on brand or boring?

Alexandria Joy - Monday, August 17, 2015

Have you ever thought about how much time you waste on silly, frivolous things in life, will I have the decaf or full blooded coffee? Should I go to that networking event or finish my report? Will I wear the blue or black suit today?

I don’t know about you, but I can easily get trapped into wasting time deciding what to wear for the day which is why in this week's episode of UQTV I explore the benefits of wearing the same clothes everyday like a form of uniform.

What's your thoughts? Is it smart, sensible and on brand or just plain boring?

Now I’d love to hear from you. How much time do you spend each day worrying about what you’ll wear?

Would you find dressing the same every day smart, sensible and on brand or just plain boring? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Until next time 

Be unique!

Heidi Alexandra


3 Ways To Boost Your Personal Brand Online Using LinkedIn

Alexandria Joy - Monday, May 25, 2015

Whether you're a job seeker, consultant or entrepreneur, LinkedIn can be a great resource and asset for your career. You can connect to over 43 million professionals in over 200 countries around the world. 

LinkedIn doesn't just provide you with a space to house your virtual resume, it can also act as a cover letter, references document, database of your contacts throughout your life and a place where you can learn, share and interact in a professional manner. 

It's important to remember that first impressions count so you want your LinkedIn profile to be a standout. This means you can't afford to have any spelling or grammatical errors and it should be completely filled out, leaving no experience or details out.  Think of your profile as an asset and as a portrait of you as a professional who someone would want to possibly hire for a newly available job.

Another tip is to make sure you have a custom URL: that is your LinkedIn URL should appear as "http://linkedin.com/in/yourfullname."  If it doesn't, you're missing a vital opportunity to have your profile rank higher in Google and to make it easier for people to find you. To do this, go to your profile and click “edit” and then next to where it says “public profile,” click “edit” again. At the top, you’ll want to click “edit” one more time next to “your public profile URL,” and then type in your full name, without spacing, and click “set address.” If the unique URL is taken, then try using a period between your first and last name or use your middle initial.

In the summary section make sure you include a brief paragraph summarizing your work experience, especially work experience that is relevant for the job you want.Make sure you boost your UQ Factor by sharing your unique abilities and differentiators, such as industry awards and honors. Then share your future career aspirations.

Want more tips to build a powerful personal brand on LinkedIn so that you attract the best network contacts and opportunities? Watch this week's video where I share 3 more tips to boost your brand online.


What's your #1 tip for using LinkedIn effectively? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Be bold, be unique!
Heidi Alexandra 

Happiness Hacks to Help You Love Your Work

Alexandria Joy - Monday, April 27, 2015

Happiness is an elusive goal; everyone seems to want it, but by all the "shelf help" books out there my guess is that we are still searching for it. 

Sure it’s not easy to be happy most of the time and many of the solutions suggested in popular culture take a fair bit of effort and TIME, the one thing we all seem to be short of in modern society. 

For example a commonly cited one is to do more exercise. A study cited in the book: “The Happiness Advantage” also confirmed the importance of exercise on our happiness level. Basically, this study looks into three groups of depressed patients found that exercise had the biggest effect in reducing depression. 

Others suggest all you need to do is get more sleep. True we spend roughly one third of our lives sleeping, so you cannot underestimate the importance of sleep, in particular nanna naps. An interesting study in 2011 from BPS Research Digest showed how sleep affected our happiness, in particular that people who take an afternoon nap are desensitized to negative emotions and more responsive to positive ones. But who has time for a nanna nap and unless you work at Google is that acceptable behaviour in your workplace?

So what can you do if you're feeling a bit blue and you're time poor? Well you could ask Siri on your iPhone to tell you a knock knock joke (go on try it). Or you could just watch this 4 min video for my two happiness hacks that will have you faking it until you make it and get happy again in an instant:


What's your #1 tip for getting happy at work? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Don't worry, be happy.
Big smile
Heidi Alexandra 


Let's talk about boobies and all things pink

Alexandria Joy - Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Everything about Pinky McKay is out there and pink!

As a parenting and lactation expert Pinky is a sought after presenter and has appeared on TV shows such as the Today Show, The Project, Sunday Sunrise, Insight, A Current Affair and Today Tonight. 

In a world where common sense isn’t so common, Pinky McKay provides real-world, no-nonsense, parenting support and approaches with a blend of humour, sharp wit and wisdom not found anywhere else. She specializes in gentle parenting styles that honour mothers’ natural instincts to respond to their babies and empower a positive response from infants and toddlers. 

From humble beginnings running a private practice in Melbourne, Pinky has now become the founder and CEO of a range of products for breastfeeding mums with her #1 product Boobie Bikkies proving a hit with new mums around Australia. 

In this episode of UQTV as part of our 50 Leaders I Most Want to Interview series I dive into the creation of Boobie Bikkies and how Pinky has grown from a one on one business to a pink phenomenon. 


Pinky’s books, resources and her free newsletter ‘Gentle Beginnings’ are available through her website www.pinkymckay.com.


Now, Pinky and I would love to hear from you. Where are you lost in a sea of sameness when you could back yourself and stand out as unique (and pink)? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you for reading, watching, and sharing in the comments below.
To your success, on your terms!
Heidi Alexandra 

Unique Annual Reports - More Than A Reverse Mullet

Alexandria Joy - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Have you ever sat in the waiting room of a client or service provider and noticed their Annual Report sitting on the coffee table in front of you? Bet you weren't even slightly tempted to pick it up for a browse (unless of course you hadn't prepared and done your research on them!) 

Why? Because typically these are drab boring documents aimed to serve a legislative or corporate governance mandate not to delight, educate or entertain. 

Imagine seeing a document instead that served as a piece of art, a design masterpiece or a magnificent representation and extension of that company's unique brand and essence. Would you be more likely to pick it up and flick through a page or two?

Annual reports are seeing a resurgence amongst a number of savvy brands. Once only the domain of publicly traded companies and non-profits these reports were typically single-color, and had a plain, boring design. I once had a designer tell me that an Annual Report is typically formatted as a “reverse mullet” ie: the “party in the front” via photography and interesting design, with “business in the back” where financial data was displayed. This trend grew well into the 1990s until Microsoft sounded the death knell by having their annuals available online, setting a steep downward trend in printed annual reports’ significance.

In the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a wonderful trend: a resurgence of companies creating both online and print annual reports just for the fun of it. No other obligation than to share their year’s experiences in a bold, daring and totally on-brand way. 

And we’re not just talking cutting edge print, paper and design techniques for the sake of being arty farty – we’re talking uniqueness that builds on the company’s point of difference. Check out today's episode of UQTV and you'll see what I mean with two cutting edge reports. 

Tweet This: Annual Reports don't have to be reverse mullets says @UQPower

Hungry to see more? Check out crowd funding website Kickstarter's year in review, and  email marketing company MailChimp's reports online.

So next time you are planning a company annual report or website or any brochure for that matter don’t just design and print your standard same old same old thing. Really sit back and think about what makes your company unique, what do we stand for and why do we exist, what do we want to be known and remembered for and build it from there. Your impact and strengthening your brands UQ will be worth it in the long run!

#startwithU

Heidi Alexandra


UQ'S FONT POLICE - STAMPING OUT CRIMES AGAINST BRAND

Alexandria Joy - Monday, September 29, 2014
What first impression do you make?

Sometimes the first thing others sees of us is in writing – it might be our online profile, a website or maybe a snail mail letter or advertisement. 

Are the fonts you use building your brand loud and strong or are they doing you an injustice and we should be sending in the font police to stamp out your folly?

I love words, and design and am a brand junkie so when I see people or companies using these three shocking fonts I cringe and my eyes scream no! Are you guilty of using any...?



Now it’s your turn. Tell me, what do you think? Are there any fonts you love using that you think are the best typefaces created? And which fonts do you believe are a crime against humanity?  

Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to know!

And remember if you want more resources to increase your impact, influence and income then head on over to our resources page.

Keep on building a life, business or career that plays to your unique strengths – the best thing you can do to change the world is to #startwithu.

Heidi Alexandra 
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THE BIG LIFE OF A CONSCIOUS RENEGADE: AN INTERVIEW WITH LISA MESSENGER

Alexandria Joy - Monday, July 21, 2014
Sometimes people say something that just really hits home.

That’s exactly what happened when I first met this woman and she talked about the nature of her life as an entrepreneur. From sharing ideas from her work as the Founder and Editor of the magazine Renegade Collective (launched in March 2013), to the number of new business ideas she has each day and her deliberately contrarian approach to all that she does, talking to this lady was like hearing all the ideas in my head being spoken out loud, articulately and in public!

My guest is the legendary Lisa Messenger, Founder and Editor of the magazine Renegade Collective, and she’s here to help us redefine success on our own terms.

I read her magazine cover to cover each month and am constantly impressed, not only with the inspiring stories it contains but with the clearly alternative approach which it has to common mainstream gossip magazines.

Watch as Lisa and I talk about the importance of backing yourself and surrounding yourself with a support team, the challenges of our perfectionistic tendencies, and how we can make a difference in the world.



To find out where you can get your own copy of Renegade Collective in your country here

Now, Lisa and I would love to hear from you. Where are you thinking small in your business or life when you could back yourself and go big? 

Be as specific as possible in your comment, so others watching from around the world who come here to connect and be inspired can glean ideas from you too.

Thank you for reading, watching, and sharing in the comments below.
To your success, on your terms!
Heidi Alexandra 
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