March 15, 2020

Winging it by Emma Isaacs: How to make an impact by accident

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About the author

Emma Isaacs is the founder and Global CEO of Business Chicks, Australia’s largest community for women, and is passionate about encouraging women to be bold, to be courageous and to take risks.

Emma can take something good and turn it into something spectacular with no experience required. After seven years of running her own recruitment business which she acquired at just 18 years old, Emma was invited to a small event run by a group called Business Chicks.

After hearing the business was for sale, Emma took a leap of faith and bought it. And over the next decade, Emma grew the the small Business Chicks group of 250 members into a community of thousands of engaged women.

People often talk about a ‘Business Chicks feeling’ and much of this comes back to Emma.

She is perpetually optimistic and always joking wherever she goes. Emma wants to make people feel special, always. Customer service is at the forefront of everything she does and that is evident in every touch point of a Business Chicks interaction.

Emma currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and five kids (plus one more on the way). And she’s raising each of them to be proud feminists.


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About the book

CEO and entrepreneur Emma Isaacs forgot to draw up her life plan, and she doesn’t have a list of five-year goals. She doesn’t believe in work/life balance.

Like Sheryl Sandberg, who told us to ‘lean in’ to find success, Emma wants to show us that you can’t plan every detail and wait for the confidence to kick in before you begin; instead, take action now, do what feels right and figure the rest out as you go along. In other words, you’ve got to learn how to ‘wing it’ rather than wait.

Drawing on her own life and the stories of the many men and women she has met and interviewed – from Sir Richard Branson to Bill Gates to ‘Girlboss’ Sophia Amoruso – Emma tells us how to turn a dream into a job, turn a job into a business, network like a champion, protect your time for the things that matter and understand that sometimes failure is part of
the brief.

Emma shows us that often the only thing holding us back is ourselves; that you can follow your dreams; and that there’s no reason not to start doing so right now.



Find out more about Business Chicks here:

BIG IDEA 1 (6:29) – You’ll never be ready.

If not now, then when? You need to find opportunities and seize them, even if (and sometimes especially if) they are unexpected. It’s also about not asking people for permission. Emma started her own recruitment agency at 18 and bought Business Chicks at 26, it didn’t cross her mind to be scared. She just kept on doing the next thing because it felt like a good opportunity.

In the book Emma talks about things that might not go according to plan – things might fail or get hard, but you just need to keep swimming because you will never really be ready for everything that could happen.  You just need to start again, move, make traction and keep building momentum. You will never know what’s going to come up and you will never be ready for all those things. 

So you just gotta do it and learn along the way (or wing it!).

BIG IDEA  2 (8:13) – Go the extra mile.

Emma definitely embraces the hustle mentality and talks about being obsessed with your business and doing what others are not prepared to. She has pushed herself mentally and physically to make something happen on many occasions but also acknowledges it’s not about being workaholic as you need to know when to switch off without feeling guilty. 

An important trait is keeping learning and asking for feedback, especially when it’s uncomfortable. Ask people that you trust who will give you the real deal.

For your customers, go the extra mile and give people something to talk about – make them feel something.  Business Chicks create the sense of belonging and togetherness in a very positive way through their events and the experience they create.

BIG IDEA 3 (11:16) – Build great relationships.

This idea starts by doing things to make someone’s day. Emma found a way to get a chocolate cake for her friend who was working in China over her birthday, and it made her friend’s day.

Spend time building trust, Emma shares some good ways of networking by making it less awkward and cringey.  She also talks about the importance of building an amazing culture by doing little things such as giving credit to whom credit is due, saying ‘thank you’, and letting people do their best work without getting in their way.

These are all the fundamentals of building great relationships. 

P.S. Despite all of this, you can’t please everyone and that is okay. 

Music By: Mindplay – Instrumental Version Song by Roza

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