Our Canberra Women in Business winners share their success secrets
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Our Canberra Women in Business winners share their success secrets

What are our leading businesswomen doing at 6am? What's the one quote they live by? And how do they make sure their staff are still motivated at at the end of a long day? We asked the five winners of the 2017 Canberra Women in Business awards about the unusual habits that contribute to their incredible business success.

1. Alix starts the day by planking

Alix O'Hara is the inventor, founder and CEO of Mashblox. She's the Young Businesswoman of the Year.

Alix O'Hara is the inventor, founder and CEO of Mashblox. She's the Young Businesswoman of the Year.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

"I start the day with a plank for a few minutes while listening to something uplifting, then I'm on the treadmill for 20-30 mins of high intensity interval training. My gluten, sugar, dairy, and caffeine free breakfast cooks while I shower.

"Then it's on to the day's priorities that I've written the night before. Sometimes, I'll journal whatever's been on my mind as I've woken up."

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2. Penny's staff end the day with a quick lap of the block

Penny Hyde is the principal of Penny Hyde Buyers Agent. Her business is the Micro Business of the Year.

Penny Hyde is the principal of Penny Hyde Buyers Agent. Her business is the Micro Business of the Year.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

"An absolutely critical part of our success is our daily 'walk and talk'. At the end of our working day, my staff and I do a walk and talk as the final action of the day.

"It's a 15 minute walk around the block to talk about the issues of the day, any achievements or things that need to be addressed tomorrow. We sometimes spend all day at a desk so this short time outside at the end of the day helps staff unpack the day and disengage from work.

"We're all about balance. I don't expect staff to take work home with them but it's sometimes hard to avoid that. The daily walk and talk helps."

3. Angela has a quote she absolutely swears by

Angela Backhouse is the principal of Backhouse Legal, awarded Business of the Year.

Angela Backhouse is the principal of Backhouse Legal, awarded Business of the Year.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

"My advice to anyone thinking of starting a business is: always follow your heart. I live by this quote by Eileen Caddy and keep a copy of it in my purse:

Set your sights high, the higher the better.
Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now.
Realise that nothing is too good.
Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way
."

4. For Sarah, it's all about a gorgeous notebook

Sarah Rajic is the director of Capital Recruit, awarded New Business of the Year.

Sarah Rajic is the director of Capital Recruit, awarded New Business of the Year.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

"When I arrive at work, I have a quick look through my 'to do' list which is broken into chunks such as Capital Recruit, staff check, personal, admin, team and projects such as Canberra Business Chamber or a client project.

"I usually number the top five most important tasks. My 'To Do' notebook is bright, pretty and has my personal notes all over it."

5. Danielle books things in before her brain says 'no'

Danielle Dal Cortivo is the CEO of Asthma Foundations ACT and Victoria. She is the Executive of the Year.

Danielle Dal Cortivo is the CEO of Asthma Foundations ACT and Victoria. She is the Executive of the Year.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

"This year I've embarked on saying yes more often and taking action during my moments of inspiration - or craziness - to make myself commit to doing whatever it is that I'm inspired to do. I just go for it.

"If I see an interesting course that inspires me I book in before I'm inundated with all the reasons and excuses why I shouldn't.

"If I see an opportunity to take on something new or that scares me I go for it, I submit the paper or book the flights. This keeps me excited, invigorated and thinking differently."

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Canberra Women in Business winners Danielle Dal Cortivo, Alix O'Hara, Penny Hyde, Angela Backhouse, and Sarah Rajic. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Canberra Women in Business winners Danielle Dal Cortivo, Alix O'Hara, Penny Hyde, Angela Backhouse, and Sarah Rajic. Photo: Sitthixay DitthavongCredit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

Bree Element is the life and entertainment editor at The Canberra Times

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