I swam with my kids today, and heartbreakingly they said they couldn’t remember when I last swam with them. I’m a great swimmer, used to be a junior lifesaver, even trained with a swim coach for a brief time.

So why don’t I swim with my kids more often?

The ‘excuse’ over the past couple of years has been Covid and more recently my broken foot. But the ‘reason’ is deeper.

I was fat-shamed a lot as a kid. There’s a gene on one side of my family for what used to be called ‘puppy fat’. I can see where this has shown up in four generations of my family. Me included. One unaffected family member used to call me “Ten Tonne Tessie” … making it ironic that I chose Tess when I changed my name at 18.

Today I realised that I haven’t liked my body for a long time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of what my body has achieved, having two huge kids relatively later in life. But I really haven’t ‘liked’ my body.

I’ve always felt “too something”.

Too ‘fat’ when I was 10. Too tall in my teens. Too clumsy. Too big-boobed. Always too something.

I’ve gone through phases of only buying clothes from ‘larger lady’ stores, even when I wore an average dress size. Even today I’m (totally) rocking bathers from a designer known for flattering the ‘fuller figure’.

Why am I sharing this rather personal confession with you?

It’s not because I need validation or comforting comments. It’s because we all do it. We all feel inadequate (or “too something”) in our own skin. And it’s bullshit!

On a rational level we know we look fine. But ‘fine’ isn’t the same as body-proud. It’s not body-positive. Or even body-satisfied.

And being body-dissatisfied lets us hide from ourselves. And then we hide from fun.

Crazy, right!

So today, on my holiday, I’m giving myself a bit of a talking-to. I’ve worn my bathers all day, without sweating in ‘cover up clothes’. I’ve swum with my kids. And I want to make this a more common thing.

I hope it means more swimming. I hope it means more fun!

Let’s agree to cut ourselves some slack on the body issues stuff. Life’s too short to keep hiding from fun!

Much love,
Tess x

I’m gonna give it to you straight … Those “what ifs” won’t save your business.
You’ve identified what’s not working and even how to fix it … but now one four-letter word is holding you back from taking action.


Fear of criticism, failure, loss of reputation, reduced referrals, fear you’ll kill your business…

Whether it’s a fee increase, changing your employment model, or a targeted marketing campaign … these are big changes, and tend to trigger the “what ifs” big time.

It’s natural to have these fears. Of course it is. But it’s not WISE to let fear call the shots. In fact, FEAR DOES NOT GET A SAY! Because, let’s face it, allowing fear to stop you making essential changes in your business is bonkers.

You know your business better than anyone. You take on all the risk. YOU get to decide what changes need to be made.

I can’t promise everyone will embrace your changes with glee. Not everyone will. I’ve certainly faced pushback from staff, colleagues, and even friends when I’ve announced major business changes in the past.
We don’t love it when our ideas aren’t met with universal agreement and applause. But sometimes we have to do what is right, not what is popular. (Where have I heard that phrase before? *wink wink*)

Remember two simple facts:
1. Your business, your rules.
2. You get to change the rules as you see fit.

You know that things can’t stay the same or you’ll burn out, go broke, or simply stagnate. Without you taking action to make the changes you know you need to make, things are guaranteed to stay to same. When you allow fear to call the shots, when you give in to the “what ifs”, you are choosing to stay with what’s NOT working.

Or put more harshly … You are essentially saying you are prepared to fail rather than risk success.
Are you? Really? Of course not! That would be crazy, right?
Change is hard, but so essential for the longevity of your business.

Don’t let fear call the shots.

Much love,
Tess x

We’re back from our summer breaks, but none of the business clients I’ve spoken with this week feel refreshed. No one feels they’ve had a proper summer break. We’re all still tired. Me included.

We’ve seen this before. In 2020, on the back of the bushfires. And again in 2021, on the back of 2020’s shock and awe.
Each of the past three summers everyone has felt their summer relaxation swallowed by worries and a national sense of helplessness.

Each year we swore we’d have a “proper” break at Easter. We could limp along until then. But then we kissed winter holiday plans goodbye and worked through. We promised we’d rest over Christmas.
We dragged ourselves, exhausted, to the finish line of 2021, knowing in the back of our minds that 2022 wouldn’t magically make it all better. But that’s what we told ourselves anyway.

But then Omicron. So we’re still worried and exhausted.
That’s two Christmases we’ve kidded ourselves that summer would fix everything.

So here’s what we’re going to do about it.
1. We are going to simplify business processes and create structured support around us #getacoach
2. We are going to work smarter, not harder (as cliched as that sounds)
3. We are going to schedule REGULAR breaks and TAKE them ... That includes blocking out public holidays (too many of you forget to do this!)
4. We are going to observe and monitor early signs of not coping and ACT on them
5. We are going to take care of our physical AND mental health
6. We are going to seek help when it’s needed, AND accept it when it’s offered
7. We are going to allow ourselves time to just think
8. We will be strategic, not reactive
9. We are going to watch out for each other

Let’s carry the wisdom we gained in 2021 into 2022 and pace ourselves.
Let’s not bullshit ourselves again.
Let’s PLAN rest, PLAN self-care, and PLAN time for working on ourselves and on our businesses. And then let’s follow through on each of those plans.

Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make these changes.
Take care of yourself and each other.

Much love,

I was thinking this morning about my younger self, wondering what she’d make of who I am today.
What would she make of the creases around my eyes? My mummy tummy? What would she think about me as a mother? A wife? What the hell would she say about me being a psychologist and entrepreneur?
I can’t tell you what prompted these vague wonderings, only the feeling they evoked. Pride.
The twist is, what I felt wasn’t pride for who I am now and what I’ve achieved, it was a warm gentle pride towards my younger self. How brave she was. How independent.
And then a wash of gratitude to her.
I may no longer be the professional actor I once was. I miss it so much, but my life is a million miles away from that these days. But I have carried that independent, young-artist streak well into my “grown-up-ness”. And thank god for that!
That independence allowed me to u-turn to university at the “old” age of 25. It afforded me to frequently raise a middle finger at those who didn’t believe in me. It pushed me to pursue the less-well-trodden path.
Entrepreneurs need to be a bit free-thinking and creative. They need to be able to withstand criticism and those who would whisper “surely not” and “who does she think she is”. We need to be visionaries, of a sort.
Entrepreneurs need to learn to fall and rise and fall again. Just like actors, really.
When I was young and wild and free, how marvellous it felt, that strength I unconsciously drew on. The strength to withstand my tendency towards people-pleasing, to withstand my own doubts, my need for approval. The strength to take risks and to learn from mistakes. The strength to be creative.
What a marvellous, strong, courageous young woman she was!
I’m grateful to her for her strength and courage. I carry it with me still, it’s what drives me to show up and take risks and to help you on your business journey.
I may be a lot “straighter” now than she thought I’d be, but I think we’d get along famously, she and me. And I know she’d laugh if in the end I didn’t give a fuck whether she approved or not … and for that she’d be proud of me!
Don’t be afraid to tap into the many facets of who you are, or who you’ve been. They make up the fabulous mirror ball that is you!
Much love,
Tess x