Let’s celebrate Mother’s Day by sharing what some of Australia’s top executives say is the best advice they ever received from their beloved Mums.
Cass Spies, MD, Twisted Healthy Treats
Mum always insisted on a family dinner every Sunday, and it’s a tradition we continue with my family. In fact, we make sure we have dinner every night together with my children Leila, 13, Lexington, 11, and Josh, 8, and I always insist there are no devices and no TV. It’s a great time to talk and ask everyone what’s going on and even share what goals we want to achieve. Thanks to my mum and dad, I realised from a young age the importance of home as a safe place and a place where you can enjoy quality family time together and regenerate.
Lyra Mackay, Evangelist, Zoho Corporation
My mum is the strongest female role model in my life. From a young age she instilled in me the belief that almost anything is possible if you put in the work. That, and emphasising that happiness is the key ingredient to achieving great things in life. In order to have a long, happy career, she’d push me to find fulfillment in my life outside of work. She also often boasted the importance of starting your morning the way you’d like the rest of your day to go. She’d tell me to start the day with a surf and conquer a big wave before conquering the workplace. This may be the best advice she’s ever given, and is the source of many of my most productive, rewarding and empowering work days. Before logging on every morning, I try to find some time for a surf, or a run or to find inner peace.
Lybra Clemons, Chief Diversity Officer at Twilio
My mum taught me to always act with respect for others and have integrity in doing a good job at whatever is asked of you, provided what is being asked doesn’t violate your core values. I’ve carried this throughout my life and have instilled it in my children. Throughout her life, she taught me the value of hard work. She worked as a professor, started her PhD, and took over my family’s landscaping business, all in her early 40s with two kids and a working husband! A black woman working in a male-dominated landscaping industry in the 1980s was no easy fit. Although, as challenging and demanding as work can be, she instilled in me that family is, and always will be, the most important.
Pam Martinez, first CFO at SevenRooms
My mum’s dad was orphaned at a young age, put himself through university, served in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and worked his way up to become a successful corporate executive and family man. My mum’s mum grew up in a family that built, ran and grew a large dairy business. My grandmother worked at the dairy business before working as an army nurse, then started a family of her own. Therefore, the value of hard work was never ever lost on my mum and her siblings. The advice my mum emphasised my whole life was: work hard and take pride in your work. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. These are the values I’ve taught my children. Becoming a mum has helped me in my career. Having kids forces you to be more efficient and work on what is most important. Having children gives you great perspective, and has helped me become a more well-rounded person, colleague, leader and friend.
Tamara Oppen, Managing Director at GoDaddy Australia
My Mother is from Eastern Europe, so instilled in me from a young age the importance of a strong work ethic. Besides that, though, one of her most impactful pieces of advice, and something that I think anybody – irrespective of their age, background, or industry – can benefit from is: keep true to your values, trust in your abilities, and don’t ever be afraid to voice your opinion. That, and removing the fear of failure. When you trust yourself and understand that failure is actually an opportunity to grow, you can achieve so much. In reality, the biggest barrier to anything you want to achieve is yourself. So far, that advice has contributed to a thoroughly enjoyable, meaningful, and empowering career. As a mother, I’m actively encouraging my children to be curious, try new things, be comfortable with failure, and that there is no limit in what you can achieve.
Kathryn Speirs, Marketing and Brand Specialist, Vend
My mum has always been very supportive of me growing up, during my education, my personal life and now in my career. She was especially supportive when I first entered the workforce after finishing university when everything was new and I had lots to learn. My mum has always been a role model for me, and always encouraged me to ensure that whatever I do in life – both in and out of work – to do something that makes me happy. That pursuit of happiness has been very sage advice so far. More specifically, she also advised me to work in an industry with future growth prospects and to constantly strive for success. That has served me well so far, too, and has contributed to a very exciting start to my career. I’m so thankful I’ve had my mum to look up to as a source of advice – I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.