When I speak to Naomi Simson, we’ve not long been released from the grip of COVID-19 Level 4 and the experience is still etched in our mind. Naomi is enjoying a peaceful harbour-side walk when we speak on the phone. She has, I suspect, always been a master multi-tasker and freely admits a walk and a chat makes a better alternative to a non-stop chain of Zoom meetings.
It also sets the tone of our discussion about the opportunities that will arise from the ashes of the current economic slow-down to the many things we can and should be grateful for both personally and professionally.
“I’m on a walk to avoid the trap of video call to video call and the weather is amazing,” says Naomi, the founder of the online experience gift retailer RedBalloon and popular shark on Network Ten’s TV show Shark Tank. “I’m down looking at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. So, I’m feeling grateful I live in a lucky country, one with strong leadership. From our banks to our Government, we have benefited from our leaders taking tough decisions early and had their consistent approach to dealing with COVID-19.”
“I’m feeling grateful I live in a lucky country, one with strong leadership.”Naomi Simson
Naomi is still working from home, something she admits, has its advantages. Namely, it has given her the chance to enjoy her long-held passion for painting and she’s relished in a world where colour and texture, rather than business decisions, rule. “Painting is fabulous,” says Naomi, who is a business and thought leader with more than 2.8 million Linkedin followers.
“I need to start selling them now. It’s a very expensive hobby especially as I’m using Belgian canvas. My husband found one of the first paintings I did recently and snuck it off and is getting it framed. I painted it 20 years ago.”
Naomi’s beautiful abstract paintings of lemon-scented gums and glistening wet autumnal leaves can be seen, and yes even bought, on her NaomiSimson.com site where she describes her world of painting as the special place where she ‘can get lost in.’