The Girl in the Cupboard.

Critical Moments

My Most Trusted 100 Club Member:

Joanne is a survivor. She has faced many challenges in life, but has never given up. Her journey into entrepreneurship began with a conventional bank job and an early marriage as was expected of her. But soon, she moved up through the ranks in the banking and finance world, becoming a role model for breaking the glass ceiling of that time.

I am a survivor. I have faced many challenges in life, but I have never given up. My journey into entrepreneurship began with a conventional bank job and an early marriage as was expected.

But soon, I moved up through the ranks in the banking and finance world, becoming a role model for breaking the glass ceiling of that time. The path has been full of exciting highs and challenging lows, but what I know is that if you don't pause and realign yourself, it can have devastating consequences.

There are moments when the proverbial sh#t hits the fan constantly in business.

A lost staff member, a lost client, a lost partner, a bad partner, a competitor, a failed campaign, or even a pandemic! As a leader, you will find yourself facing these critical moments and by ignoring them or even delegating them is not the answer. It is essential to protect our sense of purpose in life and to be mindful of the influence we can have on others. This helps us make more conscious decisions while enjoying all those little moments which bring us joy and personal growth.

After a lengthy journey of self-discovery and reflection, I have come to realise that the power for change lies within me. To achieve balance between rational thought, emotionality, and intuition is critical. It requires me to pause and realign myself and be mindful of the influence I can have on others. Through this, I can make more conscious decisions and enjoy all those little moments which bring me joy and personal growth!

My keynote address tackles:

How To Recognise Critical Moments in Business Before It’s Too Late

Leaders, face critical moments in every aspect of business that need to be heeded, or it can create a multitude of problems severely impacting the business.

Unease can be felt deep in your gut when something doesn’t go according to plan or when you feel uninspired and disconnected from the organisation.

As a leader it's up to you to monitor indicators that create uncertainty or opportunities daily.

Joanne shares her story of the consequences of not paying attention to critical moments. The impact can be internal and external. She shares her tips on how to listen to these warning signs.

How To Navigate Critical Moments

Navigating critical moments can be daunting, but they also provide opportunities.

Joanne shares what she has learned over 25 years in business as best practice. Taking control back when you feel you have none, to find that gold nugget of opportunity, no matter how chaotic it may seem.

Sharing how to see even the most difficult situations as a chance to look for the insight or wisdom can make all the difference in overcoming those moments.

How To Recognise the Impact of Ignoring Critical Moments

Not facing up to critical moments can feel easier at the time and head-in-the-sand avoidance may seem like a solution - when, it is possibly what caused the problem in the first place.

The impact of ignoring these moments may have short-term and long-term consequences. The impact this has on both businesses, people can be dire and should not be taken lightly.

Joanne shares her strategies on how to effectively recognise, act and create a positive outcome in times of critical moments.

How to transform critical moments into success

When in the thick of it, it may seem impossible, with no way to success. Joanne shares her story of shifting from being in the foetal position to relaunching her next four businesses in 2017.

Fear, judgment, imposter syndrome, and failure, are just some of the thoughts that run through your mind.

Joanne shares the journey from feeling completely defeated to relaunching new businesses in 2017 and that transformation is possible when in the thick of a Critical Moment.

Joanne's story serves as a powerful reminder that nothing is impossible with the right mindset, purpose and determined adherence to our core values.

Why business leaders need to focus on critical moments

Business leaders have the incredible opportunity to shape and move their organisations to greatness in ways most people couldn't even imagine.

But awareness of critical moments is key.

These moments can define a business leader's purpose, creating sustainability, profitability, and leaving a lasting legacy from which others will learn and develop.

These are the game-changing moments; they are the ones that distinguish successful businesses from mediocre ones.

Joanne shares the need to recognise these crucial junctures and be focused in order to make the most of these situations. Making the right decision during these times will transform an organisation into one that is well positioned to succeed!


My Story

I am a survivor. I have faced many challenges in life, but I have never given up. My journey into entrepreneurship began with a conventional bank job and an early marriage as was expected of me. But soon, I moved up through the ranks in the banking and finance world, becoming a role model for breaking the glass ceiling of that time.

Life tested me when I suffered the sudden loss of my husband and became a single mum. But instead of succumbing to despair, I persevered, and pivoted into new business opportunities – some which were successes and others, failures – but along the way, I learned invaluable lessons that have served me in launching many businesses over the years enabling me to land where I am today.

Growing up in a home where I wasn't encouraged to follow my dreams, I couldn’t have imagined that one day I would speak about my story at an international summit. Despite feeling completely intimidated I sat the bank exams and then rang every branch until I got the job. Two weeks later the Commonwealth Bank welcomed me into their fold- thus beginning a journey which taught if I want something it is up to me and only me.

I married early at 21, we both worked in the bank and my professional success soon outweighed his. Unfortunately, this imbalance tipped over into an emotionally destructive situation for us both. In 2001, my world fell apart when two policemen asked me if I was the wife of Brad Ashton.

My heart stopped as they told me he had been killed in a car accident and then further dread washed over me; "Where is your daughter?" Thankfully she hadn't been in his car at the time - day-care saved her life that morning.

My life was shattered further as a doctor arrived on my doorstep 24 hours later to give me the news that my husband had been HIV positive. I remember sitting on our daughter, just four at the time, as the doctor took her blood for testing. Miraculously we were both declared negative, but nothing would ever be quite same after this experience - a phobia against needles has been forever ingrained in her very being since then.

In 2005, I embarked on a journey to become business owner. Driven by my ambition for quality time with my daughter and fuelled by an ego bigger than the rest of me combined – I thought that customers would flock from miles around just to work with me! Little did I know how wrong was about to be...Thankfully I had a mentor who took me aside and told me to get my act together. I was able to build a successful business in the RTO space to a turnover of $30million dollars.