YES Breakfast: Small is the new Big on a mission to Connect, Inspire and Educate

Oh dear "I have an idea"

For those that know me well the three words to follow my enthusiastic "I have an Idea" announcements normally hit me back with a three worded response - 'here we go'.

Sometimes I should have listened to the objections. Sometimes though when I'm really feeling it. You know really really feeling the potentiality I ignore the haters and pursue to the point of all distractions and to infinity and beyond I carry on.

That feeling got me thinking it would be a good idea to write a book while i nursed a five month old last year and that feeling got me thinking about a YES breakfast. An idea to create a monthly opportunity to bring together a network of tourism and small business professionals to exchange ideas, share insights and connect with one another.

I committed. It was tough. I nearly pulled out on numerous occasions until I got over myself and my nonsense fear and got to work.

If it's meant to be it's up to me right?

Thirty business professionals and one extraordinary woman as my guest speaker was the result of the very first monthly YES Breakfast themed 'Small is the new Big' exceeding all of my expectations.

Meredith Williams, a social butterfly, serial networker and executive assistant to the general manager at Hilton in the Park shared with me after the event "I could tell it was successful when I walked out of the lift and could hear the vibrancy of conversation coming from your room". That was my BOOM fist pump moment and my favourite thing about this event. There was a lot of conversation and exchange.

What I shared with my guests on our first early morning gathering goes a little something like this...

Intention & Purpose of the monthly YES Breakfast:

- high value exchange of people, experiences and information

- a way to pay forward and give back to the tourism and small business community that love and want to see continue to flourish well into the future

- make valuable connections and have some fun

‘small is the new BIG’ what does that even mean?

Small means purpose before profits

Small means 100% accountability

Small means 100% responsibility for your success and your epic fails.

small means you can have a BIG idea and that can be activated in minutes.

No big meetings, no corporate policies, no feasibility studies.

Small means - just do it.

Small means the founder is close to the decisions that matter and can make them...quickly.

Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change the business model

Small is the new big because small gives you creativity

Small means you can tell the truth, be vulnerable and exposed to your ups and your downs.

Small means you can answer email from your customers.

A small restaurant has an owner who greets you by name.

Small means better service

Small means jack of all trades and that's a good thing!

"Top 3 reasons to be small, a jack of all trades and a master of many"

Inspired by a podcast delivered by Tim Ferris author most famous for his Four Work Week book and phenomenon I shared some quotes and insights that inspire me as I lay the foundations of my new business.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." — Robert A Heinlein considered the dean of science fiction writing and author of “Stranger in a strange land”.


There is a collection of benefits and virtues of being a jack of all trades or what Tim Ferris likes to call a generalist!

Traditionally we raised to believe that he who specialises is the one who survives and thrives.  That you can be a 'Jack of all trades, a master of none'.

Here are three reasons why you should explore being a "Jack of all trades and master of MANY"

1. Boredom is failure

Strive for excitement not success - the opposite of happiness is boredom not sadness.

People who are the most successful and head humongous companies don’t have their skills and strengths vested in one area - they have many eggs in different baskets.

2. Diversity of intellectual playgrounds breeds confidence instead of fear

Your well being and contentment is going to be very closely related to how much you embrace and exude confidence instead of fear.

Alternative is xenophobia and smugness uniquely common to those whose identities are linked to their title or single skill. These people to a point are pursuing an incremental gain out of obligation and not enjoyment.

Experiment in diversity of different cultures, environments, different people and different experiences. It adds flavour and loads of opportunity.

3. It is more FUN

It is more fun to be a jack of many trades because it maximises our peak experiences in life.

Being a jack of many trades allows us to pursue excellence unrelated to material gain all while finding the few things that we are uniquely suited to dominate.

You can be a jack of many trades and pick one to pursue being the best at - they are not mutually exclusive.

Tim shared 'The opposite of that is we look at the specialist who imprisons himself in self inflicted one dimensionality pursuing impossible perfection in a very incremental way".

The curious jack of all trades often measures improvements in quantum leaps.

Leadership requires considering many different perspectives and skills outside of ones core competency.

Don’t put on unnecessary blinders in the name of “specialising” it’s unnecessary, it's stifling and in Tim Ferris eyes very crippling”.

Seek to emulate the people that inspire you to be like - part of that is not trying to please everyone because at the end of the day there might not be one path to success but there sure is one path to failure and that is trying to be everything to everyone!

Wrapping up:

“Loomis did not conform to the conventional measure of a great scientist he was too complex to categorise. Financier, philanthropist, society figure, physicist, inventor, amateur dilettante, a contradiction in terms”

This is an excerpt taken from an incredible portrait of the life of Alfred Loomis from a book titled ‘Tuxedo Park’. Alfred Loomis was a generalist of the highest order who changed the entire course of world war II with his private science experiments as an amateur.

SO, in conclusion small is the new BIG is just that - be too complex to categorise, it’s fun, very productive and makes life richer. Variety is the spice of life.

Be too complex to categorise, specialisation is for insects.

Be too complex to categorise, get small.

Be too complex to categorise, think BIG

Be too complex to categorise, look far and wide in many different worlds to conquer.

Be too complex to categorise, at an entire set of skills not just one.

Our inspirational speaker Karen Bolinger, CEO from Melbourne Convention Bureau shared with us the perfect sentiment:

Small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big.

Don’t wait. Get small. Think big.

If you wish to come along future small breakfasts with BIG opportunities for learning and connectivity see below for dates and breakfast themes from August through to November.

Save the Dates (guest speakers TBA):

Friday 29th August 7am - 9am: Brand Magic: Who are you and what do you represent - making lasting impressions

Thursday 25th September 7am - 9am: The power of love in business when your business partner is your partner!

Thursday 30th October 7am - 9am: Getting social in business (social media, tips tricks and strategies to fire up your brand)

Thursday 27th November 7am - 9am: 2014 Finale: Entrepreneur spotlight - conversations with small business gone BIG time

What others had to say about the very first YES Breakfast:

"Great opportunity to network and meet new people" Craig Cooney, Cafe Bus & Wildlife Tours

"What I loved most about this event was the interesting people" Steve Whitter, Continental House

"Great speaker, great attendees and inspiring" Josh Dyer, Friendly Group

"Good balance of speakers and networking opportunities. Loved it" Jonas Le Souef, Lightning Ridge Opal Mines

"I loved Karen's insights and Despina's passion" George Josevski, Bunyip Tours

"Such a positive, diverse group" Dianne Smith, Victoria Tourism Industry Council

"I really enjoyed broadening my horizons, learning new skills and hearing about Karens journey"  Polly Gibson, Bunyip Tours

"I leave here feeling passionate and more ready for big things!" Ingrid Marshall, Tramcar Restaurant



Despina is a passionate digital marketer, social media maestro and tourism professional. With over 15 years working and growing small businesses she started her own boutique training business, Institute of Excellence with the intention to ignite excellence in business and people. As a Certified Victorian Tourism eKit Trainer, business coach, author and digital marketing professional, Despina is a passionate advocate for growing small business through shared experiences because every business has a very special gift, YOU!

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