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I’m Rebecca Bennett, but please call me Beck.

Many times I have been called the girl that wears many hats, I learnt very young to follow your passion and always reach for the stars. 

My Dad once asked me what I want to be when I’m older?  As I’m guessing most parents would.

I said “Dad I want to be a photographer and travel the world taking great photos to share with everyone”.  He replied “How are going to pay for that?  Equipment isn’t cheap and either is travelling”.  I knew somehow one day I wanted my own business, I was 12 years old.

My Uncle then suggested I go work in the mining industry operating those big Tonka truck like things that move dirt, (Haul trucks). “There’s a couple of girls up there, you could do it too, but you have to be 21 years old”, he said.

Dad & I on the first Haul truck at the driving school.

So to bide my time I tried a few other job, like cleaning eggs off the floor at an egg factory, selling donuts and making coffee at a local store, burgers at Hungry Jacks, I even hand painted folk art on hundreds of terracotta pots for a nursery, they then went on and sold them to stores like Bunnings, Kmart and Big W for mothers day (for my dads boss).  Folk Art was something I use to do with my Nanna Ketty on school holidays, she taught me well, we even went to classes together, after this big job at such a young age and the passing of my dear Nanna my passion for painting was gone.

My passion for photography grew, joining one of the local camera clubs and attending with my mum.

I left school after year 10, My mum pulled me out, my high school wasn’t keeping up with their reputation, the photography classes and dark room wasn’t happening or being used and the bullying was literally a nightmare after nightmare.  I wasn’t learning what I WANTED to learn.

Using my biggest lens to take photos of the surfers at Secret Harbour @rbennett_photos

So I then went to the local TAFE, did my maths and english, photography, digital imaging and illustrations, Microsoft Word, Desktop Publisher, Excel Spreadsheets, Access Database and then onto Business Administration, in which during a class one day someone came in looking to take on a traineeship administration person, so of course seen the opportunity on the job training could give me at 16 and went for the interview.  This was a real estate a company, the owner got me to look after the database and enter client addresses, phone numbers etc.  They also let me go out sometimes and take property photos and create the window displays.  I brought my first car and moved out with my first bf Dean, I earn’t $350.00 a week, it wasn’t easy, we both didn’t have much and we had a car loan each, I now just turned 18.

I finished my Administration traineeship at the real estate then left.  The owner at times was really nasty, especially when his diabetes count was not good, he snapped one day and literally threw documents and files across the room one day because he didn’t like the way I placed them on the table.  It made sense that when I started he made me use special clips in the manilla folders so the paper could never accidentally fall out.  Convenient for me with this episode of his, guess he seen it coming.  I thought to myself that one day when I’m a boss or manager I would never be like this or treat my staff in such a manner.

I then moved on to working for a local Glazing company, again in an Administration position, I asked if I could do a Cert iii in Business traineeship with them, they agreed, the lady that ran the office taught me on the job and we also had the same lady come in and check how my progress was going, I also attended TAFE once a week.   I got most my units completed, but then it got a bit complicated for my on the job trainer, I also caught her taking cash home ($$$$) and told the owner of the company, and then she decided to retire.

I moved on to a larger glazing company learning as much as I could along the way, designing glass products, liaising with clients and suppliers. I helped the owners create many spreadsheets for their pricing folder and designed books showcasing the 2nd company they were starting and aligning with a major supplier.

I spent 3 years with this company, I also started HR driving lessons to start working towards the dump truck dream, but it was so expensive.   I had a property with my parents and my brother that we rented out, then my parents divorced and we had to sell when the GFC hit, everything we invested into it was gone, we manage break even and the loan was gone, this was a long process.

I got a call from my old boss asking me to come back and he would pay me an extra $4.00 an hour, he needed my help, it was a shorter commute to work too so I took it, especially after I just been in a crash prior and my car was a wright off, I wanted to lower the risk of that happening again.

Photographing my friend for her wedding.

2 years later I decided enough was enough, I needed a big change, I was in the glazing industry, designing and creating documents, managing staff and the office long enough.  I wasn’t getting anywhere financially.  I was looking at house plans everyday and designing beautiful things for other peoples homes looking at the nice blue sky outside through the huge glass shopfronts imaging the great photos I could be taking.

I took a week off work, told them I was going on a holiday, (as if! I couldn’t afford that bringing in $600 a week, now at 25years old!) Dad paid for me to sit a Haul truck course so help start chasing the dream, it took 5 days on a limestone site.

6months later a large mining company took me in, starting on the big Komatsu trucks, then the Caterpillar watercarts and now the M16 Graders.  5 years ago I got jumped at the opportunity to join the Emergency Rescue Squad, something I NEVER even dreamed off or let alone thought I would be considered for, but I walked in there and gave it a go. 

My Rescue crew and the trucks I operate.

I’m now 33 and been there for 7years, been to a few destinations, taken photos, built a house and even turned the theatre room into a photo studio, but guess what?  I didn’t like having a photo studio.

I then felt completely lost.

So how did I come into starting a female based directory?

At the 5 year mark I started dating one of the guys at work, he got completely obsessed with me, this ended badly turning into a HR issue, having to attend phycological appointments and still receiving treatment today for injuries. 

I had 2 months off on stress leave.  I wasn’t allowed to go to back to work until my anxiety had settled and a 2nd phycologist agreed I was mentally fit to return to work.  All phycological expenses and time off paid.

Climbed the hill, there’s our camp behind me.

During this time off I attended the Perth Careers expo 2016 with my Mum, step Dad, and step brother who was 15, they were seeing what he might be interested in.

I sat down at the stage area while they did their thing and listened to the Women’s in Trade speeches, there we maybe 5 people sitting down and listening to them, I found no one was really interested, I found it great that these chicks has done an apprenticeship in a male dominated trade and went on to start their own business. 

One was a carpenter the other an electrician.

At the end they were saying how they find it hard against all the men, people don’t take them seriously or barely them a chance.

I wanted to give them a chance.

But how could I find these female tradies?

I went back to work a forgot about the directory idea, I brought a book at the airport called “Ready to Soar” by Naomi Simson the Red Shark from Shark Tank.  I used this book to distract myself, I couldn’t attend to TAFE to do more courses I wasn’t in Perth every week.  We do 12.5 hour days with terrible reception at camp so online training is a nightmare. This was all I could find at the time to get me thinking about the world of being a business owner again.

Researching

And it has paid off.

My idea came flooding back.

On my lunch break I created an advert on Gumtree looking a web-developer, he did a terrible job of the first website. 

This year we have launched the new website, reaching out to help women across Australia either professionals working for someone or starting up business from home.

We want women to be inspiring other women.

Tell them they can do it.

Tell them you believe in them.

Let them believe in themselves.

“I do not wish [Women] to have power over men; but over themselves”.  ~Mary Wollstonecraft.

Don’t ever take someones dream away from them.

The best thing I’ve learnt over the years is you don’t need a diploma to start a business. Especially when your surrounded by so many people who are willing to help.

I now have a website with Female business communities, business coaches and more…

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

~R.Bennett

That’s me

Self Development is Key – Find the time

I am a huge believer in self development, without it I believe you will not live a full-filling life and some even struggle, you may find it hard to make ends meet or to understand how to move on from one thing to the other in life and end up working a Groundhog Day job.  I love a challenge, I love to learn, experience new things in life and be creative.  Every chance I get to learn or take on a new course of study I take it, I’ve studied around working horrible shift worker 12 hour rosters, all you need is determination and to pick something of interest.

You might think you don’t have enough time or your busy with the kids and up keeping the house, take the time to research ideas first on how to improve things and make things easier for yourself and the family, there is many blogs out there with great ways on how to make life easier or how to work around things to save you time, all you may need is just another persons perspective.

There are many ways out there to do self development, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars and years at Uni, there’s self help books out there such as “Make it Happen” by Michelle Bridges, a bit about my past, I always hated reading books growing up, I never had the patience to sit down and read, I still can’t get into fiction books, but I picked up this book at the airport when I was dreading having to fly back to work wondering what can I grab to distract me this swing, how am I going to make it through another swing, shortly after I turned 31, I was going through a Nervous break down, the fifo company I worked for flew me home as I was showing high levels of Anxiety, and had to go through a number of counselling sessions to come back to work (bad workplace relationship it’s a long story and I’m not allowed to talk about it, I’m still physically and mentally healing from it) I couldn’t get my head out of this book and it got me back into the gym, I’ve now made it my goal to run regularly, I hated running until now, now I love it, you need fitness for work if you want to have a great quality of life and career. I completely understand and agree with what Michelle says in this book, It’s a great read and there is many more out there by her and other authors as well I can’t keep my head out of books now. It’s also been great having great role models in my up bringing such as Tanya Spencer who has turned her bad life experiences into Life Coaching for others, she has spent thousands on training to accomplish this, she will soon be listed as a Fembuiz.

You can also take on small courses, their listed everywhere these days, I’ve done short photography courses ran by professional photographers who have done the hard yards at Uni, or go to TAFE, I’ve done photography there as well, a part-time course over 6months, one 3 hour session every week is all it took and at the end you have a certificate to add to your portfolio, it’s not even expensive.

There’s also online courses, I’ve done one with Open Colleges and they have different payment plans, I’ve just signed up to another one a month ago so now I will be working a fifo roster, starting up this new business Fembuiz Directory and studying. If I’m not studying I just don’t feel as though I’m getting the best out of life, there is so much hidden knowledge out there, you just have to search for it. The world is my Oyster, Mmmmmmmm Oysters.

You might take on a course of study that your passionate about then halfway through think it’s not what you want anymore it’s been a waste of money – I think this is fear a lot of people take on that stops them from wanting to enrol in a course, even if this happens keep going and finish the course, this is knowledge that you now have, this will never be a waste of money, you would of still gotten something useful out of the course, still put it on your resume, employers love to see that your actively minded even if it’s nothing to do with the job your applying for, and this is also something to look out for when hiring new staff. You may not use that knowledge now but you may need it one day, it’s never a waste. When you do finish that course, if your passionate about it or not you will still have that great feeling of achievement, your passion may change into something else or you may turn that passion into a business, my Dad always told me that if you do something that you enjoy and your passionate about you will never have to work a day in your life, some people know know what their passionate about straight away some people it takes a few trial and errors or even a U-bolt in the opposite direction.

You can always take on a small course before you take on the big one to test out how passionate you are about that subject or ask a company if you can do a day of volunteer work to see what it’s like and get some inside information or just to get those feel good vibes before spending that money and signing up, then when you do the course you have a little head start for yourself.

If your employer ever offers to put you through training take it, don’t see it as an insult and don’t be scared that you might fail, there is heaps of help out there such as tutors or asking another staff member to assist you, sometimes courses cost hundreds or even thousands and it’s you that gets that certificate at the end, not the company, you did it, you own it, but they paid for it, win win situation. I once approached my employer and said I wanted to do the Accounting Clerical & Finance course at the local TAFE, this involved 1 night class every week for 6 months and a lot of studying around work to keep up with it, it was a lot harder then I thought and chewed up a lot of my free hours, I completed it but I didn’t want to take Accounting up a profession, numbers were haunting me in my sleep, even though I could do my book keeping myself I hire someone else to do it as my time is more valuable and I’d rather hire an expert who can do it better then me, but I still have that knowledge and can understand what she’s on about, in most cases.

It’s incredible the amount of ways to Self-develop these days, I actually budget for it, you could budget thousands yearly or you could budget $30 a month for a book, if your really strapped for cash there’s facebook pages, blogs, websites, or tutorials, YouTube is amazing for this, I say “Ask Google” a lot, I’m dead certain google knows everything but you must be weary as anyone these days can put anything on the internet, always read into a number of websites or articles on the same topic in case it’s contradicting then judge for yourself.

Happy learning fellow Fembuizers.  From the Fembuiz Honcho – Rebecca Bennett