Naomi Simson, Australian entrepreneur and founder of the $50 million online experience retailer redballoon.com.au, is keeping popular company with the likes of US president Barack Obama, Virgin’s Richard Branson and acclaimed author and physician Deepak Chopra as part of a new professional “Influencer” project launched 2 October 2012. Simson is one of only two Australians selected by professional networking site LinkedIn as part of their latest campaign designed to share unique knowledge and professional insights from some of the world’s top business leaders. (The other is Matt Barrie, founder of freelancer.com). The pair are among 150 of the world’s most influential thought leaders to be targeted by the professional networking site, which has a global membership of 175 million, or eight times the population of Australia. On the program, Simson said she was both flattered and enthusiastic about the opportunity and was blown away that her story had captured the imagination of a big corporation.
“I always believed I could build a successful business based on having fun. So it’s humbling to know the story behind RedBalloon’s extraordinary growth and success will now reach many more people, Ms Simson said. “I started RedBalloon in the front room of my home in 2001, using little more than a few thousand dollars and a second-hand computer, with my canine companion Dexter as my sounding-board. “Eleven years later we’re on track to becoming a $100 million business, and have delivered more than 1.5 million memorable experiences to Australians and New Zealanders. “We’ve helped people celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, mother’s days, father’s days and Christmas. I’ve heard personal stories from proposals, to dying wishes to sweet sixteens. This business has given me a fleeting glimpse into the lives of our customers, and I am so thankful to be a part of their big life moments. “Through this opportunity I hope to be able to share my knowledge on the importance of gratitude, generosity and integrity within the business world, and show that organisations can have fun, look after their employees and customers, and be successful at the same time. “I’m so thrilled to be able to build on and continue this conversation with a whole new audience.”
Simson’s first submission, “Is happiness at work a ‘dirty’ word?” looks at how businesses can promote an environment of fun, gratitude and celebration, to promote increased productivity. The list of contributors includes universally-recognised leaders and industry-specific movers and shakers, including Tony Robbins, US Governor Mitt Romney and UK PM David Cameron. Check out Naomi’s article, subscribe to her blog- naomisimson.com – listed in the top 15 of Australia’s Best Business Blogs, join Five Thanks a Day to learn about the power of gratitude and listen to our podcast interview with Naomi.