BIO: Yvette Adams is a serial entrepreneur and a multi-award winning business woman including winning the ICT Woman of the Year at the iAwards in 2013 and the Commonwealth Bank Business Owner category at the Telstra Business Womens in Queensland in 2010.
She has started six businesses, the first a newspaper when she was just 17, and two of which she has since sold. She currently runs three businesses – The Creative Collective – a digital marketing agency specialising in social media; The Training Collective – a digital skills training organisation, and awardshub.com – an online portal which helps people find business awards to enter.
In 2015 she was recognised for making a significant contribution to science and innovation in Queensland and included on the department’s Queensland Science and Innovation Champion Hall of Fame and in 2016 she was named as a Digital Champion by Queensland Government. She is the Chair of the Knowledge & Professional Services Taskforce for Sunshine Coast Council and the Chair of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Sunshine Coast committee.
Yvette is a twice published author, and is regularly called on as a media commentator and keynote speaker, facilitator and MC for events all over Asia Pacific.
Most recently she has been presenting a new show called Young Entrepreneurs which can be viewed on BRiN, an app available on Google Play or the App Store. Download it for free!
What do you do?
I run three businesses – The Creative Collective – a digital marketing agency specialising in social media; The Training Collective – a digital skills training organisation, and awardshub.com – an online portal which helps people find business awards to enter. Across all three we have around 12 staff and 25 contractors.
What is your background?
I was born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand, until I was 11 years old and my family emigrated to Caloundra, Queensland. We lasted less than a year there as Dad was a teacher and couldn’t find work but vowed to retire here. I started my first business at high school – a secondary school newspaper which I sold after it’s first issue to an American entrpenreur. I went straight from school to the work force working at the Hillary Commission (NZ’s equivalent of the Australian Sports Commission) for 3 years in the communications unit helping with press and public affairs for Sir Edmund Hillary and liaising with other sports celebs of th day, including running the NZ Sports Journalism Awards each year.
When I was 21 I left NZ with 5 surfer boys from my local beach and for the next 7 years I used London as a base working in mainly PR, marketing and journalism, and travelled. All in all I completed three round the world trips of a year each, with one being fully funded by a travel agency that I wrote weekly blogs for (before blogging was even cool).
As a result of my travels I speak Spanish and am addicted to travel. I had my first child in England in 2004 and after a year of bringing him up with no family support, we emigrated to the Sunshine Coast where my famiy had retired to. I’ve been here ever since, and started The Creative Collective in 2007, The Training Collective in 2014 (though we’ve been offering digital skills training since 2009) and awardshub.com in 2011.
Tell us a little about what you are working on right now:
We were contracted by the Sunshine Coast Council to develop and deliver a digital skills program called Level Up so that has kept me pretty busy this year. The aim of the program is to help small businesses to connect to faster internet and then use more online tools to run their businesses more profitably and more productively.
We acquired another creative agency back in March this year and this meant taking on 300 new clients so streamling systems, getting to know the new clients and consolidating this has been a big job and also kept me busy.
We moved all our online modules (about 50 of them) to a new online training system for The Training Collective which has a better user interface and have been busy ramping up this company by participating in our first expo in Sydney.
And I’m just generally always working on achieving the work life balance. Being a good mum, simplyfing life, automating what I can and making sure you have fun along the way.
What inspired this idea?
On the acquisition of another agency, we had said this was in our 5 year plan and it was only 6 months after setting this that someone approached us who said they had been watching our company for a long time and wanted to retire and sell. After around 6 months of due diligence we went ahead and finalised a deal in March 2017 as part of our growth strategy.
What is the most challenging thing about this project?
It has presented quite a few challenges we didn’t anticipate but probably implementing effective change management and education meaning introducing the new clients to our team and way of doing business. Some of the acquired clients are very parochial and we’ve had to implement a lot of strategies to build trust and win them over as clients.
What is your favourite part of your job?
The flexibility. Making my staff laugh. Setting out to achieve things however big and pulling it off.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
There’s a few. I couldn’t say one is greater than the others. My kids of course. Getting through a difficult separation. Being able to find the courage to love again. Creating three successful businesses. Having an amazing business partner and team. Creating a life doing what I love.
Do you have any advice for women wanting to enter this industry?
Do it! There are not enough women in tech and we’d love to encourage more.
Who inspires you the most?
My friend Sarah Pope (nee Belgrave). I used to play in the NZ water polo team with her – she was the goalie and we were great mates. She fell out of a tree in 2000 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. But she hasn’t let it stop her going overseas (we had some travel adventures together), meeting the man of her dreams, having beautiful twins and nanaging a teamm of 100 in Auckland, New Zealand. She’s absolutely amazing and I love her to bits.
What motivates you to keep going?
My kids. The quest to make a good life for them and myself. I feel a great responsibility to do so – who doesn’t want the best for their kids? I love giving them experiences not things. It’s a challenge not bringing up materialistic kids in this day and age.
My partner. I want to create a great life together.
My team motivate me too because I feel responsible to them to make great companies that are sustainable and fun to work for.
How do you create balance in your life?
I’ve had a challenging year health wise with quite a few set backs but I try and work out most days and have recently joined a gym again to get me moving through the winter months. I always eat pretty healthy but alcohol is my achilles heel. I’m currently doing Dry July and recently I went on a shotgun trip to Bali (literally went the day after we booked) with a good friend for a much needed reset. I was feeling really stressed, exhausted and knew I couldn’t get to the end of the year without it. Yes, I am human!
According to you, what is the definition of success?
My businesses are constantly recognised with awards, press coverage, referrals and industry partnerships but success for me is more about achieving success with relationships. The people I work with, the culture we have, my family being happy. Having the flexibility to live life.
What is your opinion on eco-friendly brands?
Of course I seek to use these where ever possible. I feel a responsibility to do so as a human on this planet but also to set an example for my kids and leave the planet in some sort of shape for their future.
Best beauty advice/tip:
I think a healthy, happy, balanced life really does make you look beautiful. Sleep well, eat well, exercise, swim in the ocean, walk in the forest, surround yourself with good people who make you feel good and who make you laugh, holiday regularly and it will show in your face.
Words to live by:
Aspire to inspire before you expire.