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If only I knew: What I would tell my younger self

With age comes experience and a whole lot of wisdom. Here, some of Australia’s most successful, gorgeous women share what they wish they’d known when they were younger. Live, learn and soak up the gems!

My younger self collage

Photo credit: Bianca Kristallis

Anny Slater, 40s

Anny Slater

Principal of Slaters, an intellectual property, technology and media law firm

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt in life?

  1. Often, what you feel is lacking is often what you need to do. If you feel lonely and isolated, volunteer at a shelter and help someone else feel less lonely and isolated.
  2. When a business project stalls, it can often be because it is waiting for the next or right person to come along. You need to go find that person rather than worry about the situation.
  3. Everything has its time and you do get second chances.
  4. Sweating the small stuff and holding grudges limits you and no-one else.
  5. When you go through a terrible time, it’s training to ensure that the next time is not as terrible. You mustn’t give in to negative feelings.
  6. You can’t control the chaos around you; you can only navigate a pathway through it.
Photo credit: Anny Slater

Dani Lombard, 30sDani Lombard

Chief talker and founder of Dani Lombard Public Relations

What do you wish you knew at 20?

Nothing, to be honest. I think back to my 20-year-old self and I was full of hope and optimism and excitement — finishing uni and getting ready to travel the world. It was a time of complete freedom — toeing that line between adulthood and your adolescence, where anything is possible! Where I ended up in my career is quite different from what I imagined at 20. I was studying TV and video production and planning to return from my travels and do a journalism degree. But, through a series of events, I ended up in San Francisco where I needed an internship, any internship, to get a work visa. I ended up in a PR agency. This was the springboard that would launch my career in PR and lead to me running my own business — something I never in a million years thought I would do! It was also how I would meet my future husband. And the rest, as they say, is history. It wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun if I knew what was ahead!

Photo credit: Dani Lombard

Alex Tselios, 30sAlex Tselios

Social commentator, entrepreneur and publisher of The Big Smoke

What advice would you pass on to the younger generations?

That you really do create the life you want to have — and it is exhausting and you have to sacrifice, but it’s totally up to you. You will either make an opportunity or you will waste it; the ball’s in your court. People won’t always “get you”, but it really doesn’t matter — you just have to do what’s right for you and cultivate the right types of people around you that will understand and motivate you.

Photo credit: Alex Tselios

Bianca Monley, 30sBianca Monley

Director of nutritious home delivery service, Eat Fit Food

What is something about life no-one tells you?

Life is full of challenges; you will fall down again and again. How we approach these situations or conflict with others is what will make you stand out from the rest. These situations are lessons to be learnt and will help you become a wiser person. The harder you fall, the higher you will bounce. Believe in yourself and stay positive along the way. Never give up on your dream — if you stick at it long enough, you will make it happen.

Photo credit: Bianca Monley

Shannon Bush, 40sShannon Bush

Coach, consultant and author of best-selling book, Creative Possibility

?Can you let us in on a secret about life?

It’s okay to not know what you want to be when you grow up! I think there is too much pressure on having to decide very young what you want to be and yet there are so many options and new innovative careers and opportunities for women emerging all the time. Along with that, no-one tells you there really are so many wonderful possibilities out there in the big wide world and that one of the most important things is not whether you fail or succeed, it’s that you took a chance, gave it a go, put your all in and (hopefully) enjoyed the journey along the way. I like to remember that it is more important to make a choice and take action on that choice and that imperfect action is so much more powerful and rewarding than doing nothing or believing you can’t or shouldn’t try.

Photo credit: Shannon Bush

Kaye and Lisa


Kaye Scott and Lisa Sullivan-Smith, 40s

Founders and co-directors of beauty hot spot, The Clinic

What have you learnt along the way?

True friendships are harder to find than what people tell you, but when you do find them, you should respect and cherish those friendships. Also, it’s important to put yourself at the top of your own priority list and look after yourself first. By doing that, you can then look after others in a more productive manner.

Photo credit: Kaye Scott and Lisa Sullivan-Smith

Bianca Kristallis, 30sBianca Kristallis

Director and founder of Pamper Hamper Gifts

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt in life?

The biggest lesson I have learnt is to share! Share your knowledge, share your time and help others when asked, as this is far more rewarding than being wealthy and not knowing what to do with it. I make the effort to mentor start-ups. There’s no point in being a snob. My philosophy is you need to give a little to get a little in life.

Photo credit: Bianca Kristallis

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