Naomi Simson started her entrepreneurial journey with RedBalloon in 2001 from her front room with just $25,000 and a second-hand computer - it is now considered one of Australia’s online business success stories.
RedBalloon is an online “experience” gift retailer which has sold more than 3 million experiences and featured on BRW magazine’s Great Places to Work list five years in a row.
From its humble, home-based beginnings a decade ago, RedBalloon is considered a brand success story – with it’s mantra Give, Share Live, it supports more than 3000 activity partners throughout Australia and New Zealand
Before founding RedBalloon, Naomi worked for big businesses including IBM, Apple, KPMG and Ansett Airlines – all of which influenced her views on workplaces.
Naomi is a speaker, author, blogger, entrepreneur and LinkedIn Influencer with 1.5 million followers, with whom she shares her insights, experience and observations about business, innovation and success.
Naomi is passionate about great workplaces and her entrepreneurial energy is focused on redii.com, a leadership tool that drives the alignment of teams through recognition and reward. Along with her investments from Season 1 & Season 2 of Shark Tank, Naomi is a keen investor and supporter of the start up community.
In 2015, Naomi released the best seller Live What You Love, and May 2016, saw her newest release Ready To Soar hit the book stores.
Client Comments for Naomi Simson
- Naomi is living proof that passion for an idea plus utilising appropriate technical resources can launch a global business.
- Her style was engaging and her message struck a chord, was timely and pitched at just the right level!
Air New Zealand
- Naomi Simson launched the 2008 REIV Breakfast Club series. Naomi is a passionate speaker with a clear message about experiences. Experiences that occur with your brand, your people & your customers. Naomi shared with us her story and along the way got the room to understand key messages around how are people were experiencing their brand and service, that clients want dialogue and interactions and that marketing is a way of being. No one can have the greatest business in the world without the greatest people and how your employees speak about you is how your brand is perceived. In this current tight labour market Naomi's message was a key one for all managers and business owners. As she says in her book happy people = happy customers = happy profits.
Real Estate Services REIV
- I thoroughly enjoyed her talk yesterday at Leonda and found her and her business story very inspirational. My business was established in 2001 as well and I am very interested in Naomi's journey and success. Well done and thanks for sharing.
Buyer Solutions Australia
- I have heard Naomi speak on many occasions and she is charming, articulate and riveting.
Amanda Gome, Founder & Publisher, SmartCompany
- She's a soft spoken lioness who will engage you from the moment she's introducing herself.
Malorie Caparas, Functions at Melbourne
- Naomi takes staff engagement to a whole new level and I thought I knew this topic well.
Gary McMullen, General Manager, Linfox
- Very well spoken and easy to follow. What a truly inspirational guest speaker.
Lynda Bredin, Glen Eira Womens Network, Victoria
- There was so much about Naomi's session that really resonated. Naomi's authenticity and her lessons around the importance of engaging and empowering our people, listening to our customers, knowing yourself and the role of leadership were all talked about for the remaining days of our conference. It was such a great talk around the importance of vision and values and the feedback I got afterwards from the team was overwhelmingly positive. We loved all of it and are very fortunate to have had Naomi at our session.
- In a sea of potential presenters, Naomi Simson is one of the best there is. During her keynote she created considerable interest with RedBalloon and other examples, but also demonstrated a deep knowledge of business, people and organisational issues that people at management level related to and were able to learn from. There was an overwhelming sense of warmth and satisfaction after the events, much of it based on Naomi being a living example of what she preaches and putting it within reach of others.
- Animated, dynamic, amusing ... Naomi personifies RedBalloon's culture. At a Hudson Human Resources celebration, Naomi's candid insights, self-deprecating humour and unapologetic passion for her business kept the audience engaged, entertained and challenged to think differently. I highly recommend Naomi as an inspirational speaker.
- Thanks, Naomi, for the fantastic presentation at our Talent Xchange Conference last week. We have had a stack of unsolicited feedback from delegates saying things like: ‘Naomi was amazing, I am going to implement changes immediately', and ‘That was great, we will definitely be rethinking our engagement strategy'. Thank you for making our conference such a big hit!
- Naomi, Thank you so much for passionately presenting to our senior women leaders. You were an absolute inspiration. Everyone's feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
National Australia Bank
- Naomi was a dynamic, energetic and passionate speaker. She presented powerful and clear messages that not only resonated because they were personal accounts, but also provided a refreshing and honest viewpoint. It was also incredibly exciting to see a female all-rounder who has persevered and achieved such amazing success. Naomi was easy to work with, not demanding at all, and is definitely someone we would love to have join us again.
- I was one of very lucky people to get to hear you speak to the Retail one team in Fiji. Your passion and words have driven me to be better at what I do and strive to be great. I honestly can't thank you enough and wish you the best in all your Journeys. Your book is outstanding and it's put a whole new perspective to life and business for me.
- Small Business Success
- Live what you love - personal development
- One Life: The melding of work and family
- How to build an award-winning culture
- The Customer Loyalty Mirror
- Leadership - Who are you to not be great
- So you want to start a business - Ready to Soar
- The Entrepreneurial Journey
Topic SynopsesSmall Business Success
Naomi Simson started her entrepreneurial journey as a small business owner with a clear view of what she stood for. By aligning ‘the right team’ to a vision, a deep sense of engagement and purpose she accelerated her start-up idea into something big. During this keynote discussion, Naomi will share her experiences and insights to growth and capability which are anchored around leadership, culture and the customer. She will finish the session by encouraging each participant to think about the ‘one thing’… that is, the one thing that, if you worked on it, your experience of business would become easier.
- There are three elements to business success; growth, customers and people. That might sound obvious but it is the right mix and entrepreneurial insights that will help you navigate what is best for your enterprise.
- Learn about the drivers of growth; what they look like and what you can implement in your business. You will understand what you can do to drive purpose, alignment and leadership throughout your business.
- Understand the concept of ‘customer loyalty mirror’, and the correlation between highly engaged teams and end customer loyalty. At the conclusion of this session you will have established ways to harness a customer feedback loop to drive innovation in your business.
- It is the role that your team plays that creates an innovative customer culture; speaking from experience she will show you how to replicate these ideas into your own business to maximise your market position. Naomi will deliver the employee framework identifying the five key pillars for you to work on in your business. This will inspire you to harness the untapped wealth of ‘discretionary effort.’
Live what you love – personal development
This presentation will touch, move and inspire – relevant to most groups, it is all about making powerful choices to live a life that you love. “If you love what you do every day you never have to work another day in your life.” This is about putting meaning in your work, discovering your passion, learning about positivity – sticking with it and being persistent… and ultimately fulfilling on your true purpose. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone, but knowing what does drive you will give you the platform for a rich and wonderful experience of life. Naomi will share rich and vivid stories from her personal life and her business life to demonstrate the power of her personal motto ‘If it is meant to be it is up to me.’ The one word resoundingly that we hear after this session is ‘inspirational’. You will be inspired to take action.
- Discover your passion – learn how to identify when you are in a flow and doing your best work.
- Taking responsibility for what you want – not what others want for you – ‘If it’s meant to be it’s up to me’, and choosing what is the one thing you need to work on.
- Playing a bigger game. This does not mean that tough times will disappear. As a result of this session you are likely to take on bigger challenges and in turn experience the joy of deep accomplishment. Resilience that you know you can count on.
One Life: The melding of work and family
We are all 'busy', but when you add parenting to the mix.. that adds a whole new dimension to the definition of 'busy' - chaos springs to mind. The weekend no longer seems our own – the smart phone forever beeping – work never seems far away. Yet family time, creative time and time for oneself are equally important. Naomi started her business when her children were 2 and 4, she was working all hours, and she always wondered 'will my kids be okay?' Every parent asks themselves that question. What we do know is there is a melding between work and home, but is it possible to meld home and work. We have just one life, we are one person. Naomi shares her insights and personal journey of ‘doing it all’, bit by bit, and how she kept her career firing whilst also keeping family absolutely in focus.
- You will discover that flexibility does NOT mean less work – it means choosing where your energy is best applied. You will realise that you are not alone, and don’t need to be.
- You will find out that imperfection is quite wonderful… and learning to say ‘no’ can be incredibly powerful.
- To pick your battles – time is your most valuable asset, and you don’t have to ‘win’ at everything.
- Learn to mono-task; 'Be present in what you choose to do.”
How to build an award-winning culture
How do our employees experience the brand and why does it matter?... Because those companies with amazing cultures are likely to be twice as profitable.
This session is about harnessing the ‘discretionary’ effort of any team member, how to unite them, and build a culture that they thrive in (and so do you). What does it take to be a ‘best employer’? A brand cannot be delivered without its people, who create and shape what it stands for and how it is perceived.
This session focuses on how to create a focused and engaged team; which exudes its ‘love’ and commitment to the organisation. Ultimately, a highly engaged team will deliver great commercial value. In this session, Naomi will outline the culture framework – giving real examples to demonstrate what did work – and what did not. You do not want to create a culture of entitlement, having a great culture is much more than having a few drinks after work or an office dog.
- How to form a logical, emotional brand connection with employees.
- Elements of the culture framework that you can do right now with your team.
- How to create a culture of recognition and fun in your workplace.
- Why it is essential to be authentic and transparent with employees.
- The number one driver of employee engagement – no matter what the generation.
The Customer Loyalty Mirror
How do our customers experience the brand? It does not matter if you business is big, small or in between – every business is dependent on how customers think (and talk) about you.
However, it is not just customers who talk, employees are busy on social media and telling their friends about your brand… this can be a powerful marketing tool – if harnessed well. And what do employees say about your business when they interact with the customer?
This session is about creating the ultimate customer experience so they willingly share their stories about your business to others. Calling on vivid case studies and demonstrating how a framework can be used to drive customer engagement. Naomi will demonstrate how to use social media as a customer listening tool, and show programs which will surprise and delight customers. The best customers are advocates who mirror your beliefs and experience….
- Knowing what you stand for; getting customers to talk about you – and how to tackle tricky social media activity.
- Ways to encourage customer WOW moments in an era of transparency – surprise and delight program ideas.
- The customer loyalty mirror and using a framework as a scorecard to align everyone to the customer experience cause.
Leadership - Who are you to not be great
Whether you’re a start-up, business owner or career manager within an enterprise – all of us want to reach great heights – yet the notion of leading others can be daunting.
Here Naomi shares about the road to success, from seeing what is possible, defining leadership, doing the preparation and ultimately delivering amazing results. It does not matter who you are leading – getting your ideas across is essential to business success, we are all leaders. This is an essential part of your leadership journey and a valuable life skill.
After this session you will feel accountable for those around you – knowing that great leaders listen and challenge those around them to greatness. Naomi will touch on leadership theory, but the stories she will tell will give life to the word of leadership. You will see that anything is possible, and whilst reluctant for many, we all have the ability to lead.
- Knowing what you stand for – your steps to leadership (and facing your fear).
- Leadership is about aligning everyone to the ‘cause’ – creating a deep sense of purpose.
- Learn to identify the ‘One Thing’, that when you do it, everything else becomes easier – turn your ‘to do list’ into a success list.
So you want to start a business – Ready to Soar
At any given moment, more than 10% of the Australian population have an idea, that they think could turn into a business. But what is the first thing to do? What should they do with that idea, and how do they know if it is any good?
Whether you’re a start-up, business owner or career manager within an enterprise – all of us want to ‘Soar’ to great heights. Whilst Naomi will talk about how to bring an idea to fruition (innovation), it is just as relevant to business people who want to drive innovation in their business. Here she shares the road to success, from seeing what is possible for you, doing the preparation and ultimately delivering amazing pitches. It does not matter who you are pitching your ideas to; colleagues, suppliers, investors or banks, it is essential part of your journey and a valuable life skill.
- How do you define your idea so it makes sense to others – and work out if it could get traction.
- How do you align everyone around you to the ‘cause’ – creating a deep sense of purpose – so that you are not alone on your journey.
- What are the key elements to a great pitch – so that you have a great appeal no matter the audience.
- Learn to identify the ‘One Thing’, that when you do it, everything else becomes easier – turn your ‘to do list’ into a success list.
The Entrepreneurial Journey
From its humble beginnings in Naomi Simson’s front room in an inner suburb of Sydney, to creating a much-loved Australian brand, Naomi shares what she believes have been the drivers behind RedBalloon’s success story. RedBalloon has changed the way we give gifts in Australia. But her entrepreneurial journey does not end with that, she has many vivid and interesting learnings from her many Shark Tank companies, as well as the software as a service saas business Redii.com. Naomi shares the secrets, business concepts and elements to continually driving growth and innovation. Her many decades of experience in small business and startups give her a unique perspective on what it takes to be an entrepreneur. This is a lively and thought provoking session that gives insights into the risks and rewards of an entrepreneur’s life.
- What the three critical elements to building the foundations for a successful business are.
- How ideas become reality, and what it takes to ensure a plan is executed.
- The key determinant of why one business may thrive – whilst another in the same field does not.
"Sandra is very friendly and helpful, a great person to work with and a relationship we hope to strengthen in the future. We are so pleased that we selected Saxton to assist us with our event this year, and by the high level of compliments received about Neville Norman, we will definitely be needing Saxton in the future! My sincere thanks to Sandra, she was/is a delight to work with and always happy to help."
Australian Dairy Farmers' Limited
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