When Rebecca Saunders came to Australia (in 2012), she arrived with a laptop, passport and $500. Today, she’s the founder of the Deli Agency – a nationwide video strategy and production agency; and The Vlog School – an online education hub with courses designed to teach business owners and entrepreneurs how to make high quality video for their business themselves.
Rebecca’s an incredibly passionate go-getter who in addition to running her own video production agency, is a mentor for young entrepreneurs in creative industries, speaks regularly about video strategy and entrepreneurship and has recently funded and produced an Independent Australia Feature Film.
“I don’t step back and acknowledge what I’ve achieved regularly, but it’s safe to say that I’m really f***ing proud of the past 5 years of my life. Building my life and the businesses here in Australia has cemented my favourite quote more than ever, that ‘Nothing is ever impossible”
I was diagnosed with Alopecia Universalis (AU) at the age of 7. It’s an autoimmune disease which destroys hair follicles resulting in complete body hair loss.
Being different within any environment isn’t easy, especially when you don’t have your socially acceptable female identifier ‘hair’. However, once grown up I soon realised that not having hair meant that my skin was (and still is) flawless, I don’t have the chore of shaving or removing unwanted hair from anywhere, and I can have perfect hair in any colour and any style whenever I want. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person you’ll ever have the pleasure of knowing who outsources their hair care with the dry cleaning!
The growth and acceptance of AU didn’t come easy. Over many years I developed a great skill for ‘hiding behind’ amazing wigs and perfect makeup – “masking up”.
It wasn’t until September 2016, at the Women In Focus Conference, that I finally plucked up the courage to be myself and venture into the world in my natural bald state. I don’t know if it was a year of personal development, the inspiring conversation or the fabulous women around me but I took a stand-up paddle boarding class with the fabulous Kelly McCarthy and have never looked back – Alopecia made me who I am, and despite the emotional journey I wouldn’t change that for the world.
We’d all love to live a perfectly happy and healthy life, but our access to some of the greatest lessons in life often happen during those times when we struggle the most.
I’ve had many lessons, but if I had to pick one that stands out the most it’s to ‘always trust my gut, and while our heart and head have opinions, it’s that gut feeling that should always win – for me that meant not putting myself into situations, or feeling pressured by others to do things, that I’m not 100% comfortable with.
If an idea excites me and terrifies me at the same time, I know it’s one I should jump into with both feet – it’s been this approach that has put me where I am today.
I’ve also learnt that trust and mutual respect within an organisation is everything, you can’t do everything alone and you certainly can’t do everything you want if you don’t have a good team of people around you.
Rebecca is “extremely” passionate about knowledge sharing and enabling dreams. Working in an industry that’s relatively unknown (and scary) for a lot of business owners it’s important that the work we do gives our audience the knowledge they need to make an informed choice.
Judgement, fear and technology have given people a thing to hide behind and a platform to fire emotional bullets from without. I’m committed to building relationships based on the gift of communication, empathy and vulnerability.
“I set out every day to sparkle and inspire. If a glimmer of my positivity, vulnerability and go-getter attitude inspires someone to try something new, or reach for their impossible then it’s been a good day”.
Obviously there’s a line between free knowledge and paid for services, but Rebecca is a big believer in giving away knowledge for free in order to build trust, credibility and authenticity in a relationship, especially if it’s the difference between spending thousands of dollars for no result, or a few hundred for a good one.
“Too many business owners get swept along with their passion only to spend big bucks in areas of business that are not their core competency. It’s both frustrating and upsetting from the inside and out when this happens”
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