Canberra Wise Women Kelli DonovanMany of us go in to business because we are technically savvy and we want to do things our way. We often don’t go in to business to lead our Industry or with the objective of standing out from the crowd. While we want to be successful, and we need our customer base to love what we do, we often aren’t focused on what makes us different and sets us apart.

Now with twenty plus years of business experience behind me – this is where I see so many start-ups go wrong.

People don’t want to harness the one thing that makes them outstanding: themselves.


If we sat down and had a conversation and I asked you to tell me a little about yourself – where did you go to school, what was your first job, did you have a pet growing up, have you travelled overseas; with each question asked and answered we would have more of an idea of your experiences, how they differ from my own and what makes you – well, You!

Every experience that we have makes us distinctive; unlike anyone else.

This uniqueness makes us and the businesses that we create one of a kind!

This is the key to building a successful brand.


However what most people do is that they think their personal journey doesn’t matter. They think that nobody wants to hear their story. So they keep it to themselves and never uncover the treasure that they leave hiding away, untouched.

What we need to do is unleash our own story!

Why have you started your business?

What experiences or training has brought you here?

What will you do that’s better or different to your competitors?

Who are your customers? How will you help them?


We can all think of great brands that leverage their story to grow their following and stand out from the crowd. Locally there’s fashion designer Kelli Donovan of PurePod who is on a mission to make fashion stylish and sustainable. Kelli’s label sources fabrics that have little to no environmental impact and are made by artisans who are well paid for their craft. There’s also Dilkara Essence of Australia, Australia’s first range of hair care products that include native ingredients. Creator of Dilkara, Julie Okley has brought together her 20 plus years in hairdressing industry and her indigenous heritage to create a new product range for the haircare market.

Even when people recognise that what they do is different and sets them apart, there is still the mindset shift and confidence required to put themselves and their story out there. I think most people shy away from drawing attention to themselves due to a whole host of limiting beliefs and past experiences. I know that this has been true for me over the years.

The businesses I’ve mentioned above are leveraging their personal story and journey and weaving in to the fabric of their business. When we hear their stories we don’t think they are showing off or big noting themselves. We often feel more connected to them, their brand and product.

This connection is available to each of us with our own businesses. Firstly we have to know what makes us unique, what sets us apart from our competitors. Then we need to make a conscious decision, and find the confidence to share our story with our audience.

Photo by: Tracy Lee Photography


About Lisa LaMaitre
Lisa LaMaitre is a Business and Health Writer, Wellness Presenter, Lifestyle Adviser, and Business Creative. She is the Managing Director of Therapy Masters, a health practice in Canberra City. As well as being the Creator of Canberra Wise Women, which is a live event sharing inspirational stories of local Canberra women.