Susan Wight and her home schooling experience

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Susan Wight. A woman who has been described before, as a house wife. The term is a mockery to the sheer amount of work Sue puts in to making the world a better place. She is living proof, that no matter who the bread winner in the family is – every woman can be as inspiring, and successful as they choose.

Before marriage, and the arrival of her three incredible sons, Sue worked in a publishing house, and for a short time, in a bank. Her journey started when her sons reached primary school, and school problems and bad behaviour, spilled into the family dynamic. Sue talks about this time, saying something ‘drastic’ had to be done.

If something’s not right you can put up with it, you can whinge, or you can try to change it. I’m a ‘try and change it’ kind of person.”

After making a lot of enquires, Sue and her husband made the joint decision to take a leap, and make a bet on home schooling. The first few months were tough. Horrible behaviour Sue had been used to dealing with after school, became a round the clock occurrence. With a little bit of patience, and a lot of love – Sue made it through. She admits to making a lot of mistakes in the beginning, after all – who doesn’t at the start of their journey? Soon enough though, her family began to re-appreciate life and the joy that can be found in learning. Her son’s all grew up to be intelligent, mindful, independent thinking people. They are a tribute to the hard work she, and her husband, put in.

The struggles Sue faced did not begin and end in teaching her children. She began to find, there was stigma associated with her and her way of life. Almost instantly, everyone she knew and didn’t really know at all, had an opinion on the way she was raising her children. They didn’t mind sharing it either. Initially Sue was quite defensive, but over time she learnt to accept the difference of opinion and developed a resilience to their words, that stopped them derailing her progress. Perhaps the strangest assumption that followed her around, upon taking her children out of school, was the Sue herself – must be unintelligent.

When answering the ‘What do you do?” question at my husband’s work events, I saw people’s eyes glaze over; they looked over the top of my head for someone more important to network with. Sometimes that was funny, sometimes not so funny.”

Sue’s work with home education, goes far beyond the efforts she made to teach her own children. Sue began volunteering at a phone line, where she responded to home education ‘newbies’ calls and helped them to understand the options they had. She soon became the coordinator of the home education magazine, a position she has held for ten years. In fact she still holds it today, even though all her children are grown up and at university or with full time jobs. That kind of commitment, and input to a cause is an attribute in Sue that should be admired, not down played as being a ‘house wife’. If all that wasn’t enough, she is a major player in the movement to challenge the government, who are now trying to change the laws around home education. Sue recently spent more than a couple of days at Parliament, lobbying politicians for their support of people’s right to decide how and under what circumstances their children are raised.

If being a house wife, reliant on their husbands pay cheque has as much of an impact on the world as Susan Wight, women everywhere should be embracing that term as a badge of honour. This writer for one, would be proud to wear any label that put her in the same category as a pioneer of home education and meaningful change, like Susan Wight.

If you would like to contact Susan on any home schooling please contact Susan at wighthouse@southernphone.com.au

Written By GITTA HODGETTS

Heather Hodgetts – Vintage to Modern Designs

Walking down past her in the street, you wouldn’t have any idea that Heather Hodgetts, is any different than you. There’s a good reason for this, she isn’t. Heather discredits a major myth that surround successful and inspiring women. You don’t have to be blessed with wealth or a university degree. More importantly the absence of a Ralph Lauren coat, draped over your shoulders does not eliminate you from the list. The quality that successful women share, is that they all saw something they wanted, and they went after it without hesitation or apology.

Heather runs a furniture restoration business called ‘Vintage to Modern Designs’, with her husband. Together they find furniture at garage sales, op shops and online, for very cheap and restore them to their original glory – with a modern twist. They work from home, sanding back wood and creating new furniture from scratch. The result is flawless, you would think they had built the end product from scratch.

So how did Heather get involved in running a business from home, particularly a furniture restoration business. Well, it happened a lot more easily than you might think. After high school, Heather got involved in administration work where she learnt all about bookkeeping and other essential business running components. She started her own conveyancing company at the age of twenty eight. She ran it for thirteen years, before selling it, simply because she stopped enjoying it. There is an important lesson to take from this part of Heathers story. Heather could have continued to run her conveyancing company, after all it was doing very well. She wasn’t happy though, so she made the decision to move in a direction that would make her happy. A large part of being the kind of woman who people aspire to be like, is not letting yourself remain stagnant for too long. Keep moving forward. Heather went to work at her fathers dyeing company, which she helped her father run for thirteen years, before he too sold his business.

It was at this time, that Heather and her husband started their furniture restoration business. 

Both of them were out of job when the dyeing company shut down, as Heather’s husband had left the motor mechanic industry to work for his father in-law as well. They faced a challenge in that work was incredibly hard to get and almost everything, required a qualification. Heather’s husband, had no intention of becoming a motor mechanic as he hated the life. Heather on the other hand, didn’t have a single qualification other than high school to her name. She had experience though, and a knack for art that had previously had her creating dozens of intricately designed quilts for years. Recently, the pair had restored a single piece of furniture they found in an op-shop, and had been surprised by their own talent. An idea had begun to buzz away inside Heather’s mind. Neither herself or her husband wanted to spend the rest of their life living on centrelink, and if Heather’s idea panned out – maybe they wouldn’t have to. So, they began to refurbish more and more furniture and sold it on eBay. Eventually, they had multiple garages full of furniture they had bought, waiting to be restored and a large client base that kept coming back for more.

Heather succeeded in her endeavour for a number of reasons. She knew what she had at her disposal, that is to say she knew what she was good at and that it would sell. Furthermore, her experience in administration and helping to run her father’s business taught her the dos and don’ts of starting a company.

You have to know you’re overhead. How much is it going to cost you to run your business and can you make that money? Are you going to profit afterwards? The other really important thing is to put your tax away. You need to have that ready when tax time comes around or you’ll run into big, big problems”.

You can find Heather and her restorations on Facebook and Instagram

BY GITTA HODGETTS

What is Dynamic Energy and how to use it to engage with customers

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What did she just say? This is exactly what your customers are going to say if you don’t know how to turn on your dynamic energy. It allows us to be interesting, engaging, confident and shows your personality. Sometimes life can be stressful and it’s hard to let this show, it can be hard to engage with people and energy levels drop, your business then follows and takes a nose-dive and all your confidence gets sucked right out.

People mirror image each other

Ever been in a class room listening to a lecturer and they’re so monotoned that you zone out? That’s because there was no dynamic magic and this is exactly what we need with our customers or audience and we must learn tricks on how to switch the on.

It’s not just what your saying that counts, it has a lot more to do with your facial expressions and body language.

Body language counts for 55% of your interaction, 38% is your tone of voice, which leaves 7% to your words, YES! Only 7 percent!

(Research of Dr Albert Mehrabian – Professor of Psychology)

So it’s time to get rid of the nervous tension, Stop being self-conscious, using a monotone and acting dull because customers will not stick around, if your  enthusiastic and your business or product their much more inclined to follow.

It’s time to show your dynamic energy, so:
– Raise your volume up a notch
– Emphasis on certain words and slow down
– Use your facial expressions
– Use your hands
– Stop hiding behind the desk, podium or the folder your holding 
– Take your hands out of your pockets
– Pause for a moment, (pause) don’t try to say everything at once

Low dynamic energy makes you feel less powerful, switch this on and be pleased to be there, be relaxed, calm, authoritative and confident, bring out that personality of yours, don’t hide it away, bringing it out, it makes life more interesting. This will start coming effortlessly the more you practise.

The next time your feeling flat and need to bring back that bounce think about the last time you had a party in hostess mode or about a first date you went on, you instantly have more energy and vibrancy, you are hyper aware of how irresistible, attractive and witty you appear.

You deserve to feel like this all the time, look at the work you have put into your career.

So this week in every engagement you have with people let’s bring your body language into action, even if it’s just when talking to your parents or family. The week after let’s also bring in emphasising on words. The following week bring in another addition and practise until it comes naturally.

Then everyone hears what your saying and hopefully your customers come running back for more and your family will be saying look how far she has come.