Coming from a heavily academic family in Australia, Emma Isaacs couldn’t bring herself to tell her parents that she quit had University, waiting weeks until she finally did. Now known for her female-focused firm Business Chicks, which is Australia’s largest community for women, she organises various workshops and events attended by celebrities, like Jamie Oliver, Nicole Kidman and more.
Juggles entrepreneurship and five children
With more than 45,000 members spanning the world, Isaacs’ mission for Business Chicks has always been business and entrepreneurship for women. Members also include men and women who are unemployed with a varied industry background; she has made business mavens like Richard Branson, a huge fan. Learning from her past entrepreneurial hiccups, she has now grown into an icon herself, saying, “I’ve had bucketloads of failures. In the past I’ve tried to do too many things, I’ve run two or three businesses at once — I had a fitness studio that completely flopped because I wasn’t passionate about it. It needed my complete focus, so the big lesson I learnt was to only attempt a business if I can give it my full, undivided attention.” However, it is easy to be fooled by her commitment to her work which includes raising funds for charity and property investment; she is also a mother of five.
Her huge risk buying Business Chicks paid off
So, how has she accomplished so much at just age 35? Taking a leap of faith, she decided to do something different. When a small event-management company called Business Chicks went on the market, she decided to buy the company, when she was just 25. A couple of years later, the company grew to over 35,000 members and she has shared space with some of the world’s greatest minds like Bill Gates, Diane Von Furstenberg, Bob Geldof and the like. With a rich work experience, she looks for unconventional things in employees like, enthusiasm and positivity, saying, “I think enthusiasm is one of the most underrated qualities. I look for people who walk in the room quickly — I’d never hire anyone who dragged their feet. I also look at how an interviewee treats the receptionist, and if they follow up with an email thanking us for our time. I’m looking for sunshiny, happy, positive people.”
Today, with more than 90 events completely sold out, she is now working on expanding the business in various American states, starting with California.
Image credit: Business Chicks