Samantha and I went to my first High School together, although a few years apart so we didn’t really know each other. When we connected through Social Media years later, I couldn’t help but be transfixed with following her career. At the time she owned a relationship consulting business in Melbourne with her husband, was creating successful Apps and writing books, and more recently has come back to Geelong. Everything I see, Samantha has touched. And everything Samantha touches, turns to pure gold baby. She’s created Geelong Women in Business, is the founder and host of the Geelong Small Business Awards, a relationship expert on Bay FM, created a kids clothing brand – I could actually go on, but I’m running out of breath! Oh and I forgot to mention, she is a total fox.
TBB: Samantha! Where do I even begin with you? You’ve completely taken Geelong by storm over the last couple of years, founding an insane amount of projects and companies – My favourite being Geelong Women in Business! Honestly, where do you find the motivation, and more importantly the time?
SK: For me, motivation is easy. I get to do what I love, which helping and connecting people.
I love telling people how important time-management is in business, but I am definitely no poster girl for it! My time management consists of working in order of my priorities and doing whatever I can, when I can – that’s about it. I am lucky in that the people who I work with, many are in the same situation as me, and can understand and appreciate the time restraints and commitments. That’s why Geelong Women in Business has a very strict culture of acceptance when it comes to priorities. We expect a lot of people will have the intention of coming to our events but will be unable in instances of sick children, husband running late from work, late clients or deadlines, and that is perfectly ok! We don’t want to be anyone’s priority and we are a safe place to just be humans – so it’s a good space to find motivation and time to put into it.
TBB: What did you want to ‘be’ when you grew up as a child – was this entrepreneurial lifestyle (mixed with Uni and other various degrees and studies) always what you pictured for yourself?
SK: Growing up as a child, I always felt a really special connection to making people happy and helping solve people’s problems, but found pressure in academic education and the expectation to pursue something with security and longevity. I loved being an Accountant (and it most certainly helps now running businesses), but the fulfillment in the role came from building relationships with clients. As a child, I always wanted to be on stage and thought I’d be a performer or actor of some sort. Today I do often find myself on stage, but in a way that is congruent with my passion of helping people.
TBB: As you’re trained in mBIT and are the go-to girl on relationships in the workplace, whats your biggest tip for employers who are welcoming a mum back from mat leave into the fold?
SK: This is a great question, and one that I wish I got asked more often. My biggest tip is to throw them a party and embrace them! What a lot of businesses don’t realize is that mums returning to work are a force to be reckoned with. I would hire a mother any day of the week! Mothers have quite a few imperative skills needed in the workplace such as multi-skilling, operating on little sleep, efficiency, time management (just look at appointments, school, sport, you name it) and best of all – patience! You tell me someone who can negotiate better than a mother. You show me someone more creative than a mother’s tactics to get a toddler to eat or to bed. My biggest tip to employers is to be flexible, and be it without guilt. When women are in a flexible workplace they are more satisfied in their job, loyal, engaged, work very hard and have low levels of stress and lower levels of mental health issues.
TBB: What was it that signalled your move back to Geelong from the great big smoke?
SK: You don’t realise how much you take Geelong for granted until you move away. It’s then you realise how beautiful, community oriented and family friendly it really is. We moved back to Geelong because it was the right thing for our family and I really wanted to give my children a similar upbringing with all of the fruits of Geelong. We have the majority of our family here and they play quite a big part in our life, and we believe it’s important to have a lot of love around our children.
TBB: I’m not sure you could fit much more on your plate – but since you are a super woman, is there anything new and exciting planned on the Krajina horizon?
SK: I wish that I were a superwoman! There are a lot of exciting things planned on the Krajina horizon, from a few projects about to roll out from Geelong Women in Business to an exciting initiative we are working on for Geelong that my husband and the kids will be fronting. We always make sure that we have something in the works to look forward to and continue to grow with (and keep us on our toes).
TBB: I follow your snapchats, your boys Emci and Mazen are incredibly cute. What do you think would be one life lesson you hope you’re teaching them?
SK: I sometimes worry that anyone who follows my solely on Snapchat won’t recognise me in the street because I am the biggest sucker for the funny filters! They are super cute and very curious and kind children – they teach me more life lessons than I think I could ever teach them in their childhood. I hope I am teaching them to love hard and follow their dreams. I know it probably sounds corny, but it’s true. Love can change the world, so if they embrace love in all aspects, they will be happy, fulfilled and cherished individuals, which they will then also attract in life. I don’t want to tell them what I want to teach them, I want to show them, which makes me a better person every day.
TBB: And finally, tell us 5 people you’d have at your dinner table and why.
SK: The first person I would want is my husband, Emir. There is no better company than he at any dinner table and he brings out the best in everyone, including me.
I’d love to have Conor McGregor at a dinner table! Not only for entertainment value, but to keep it honest and lively – he is a superstar!
Marvin Oka would be another. Any chance that I get 5 minutes with him is an amazing 5 minutes worth a lifetime. Being one of the founding subjects of NLP, when he talks everyone listens and only the most life-changing stuff comes out of his mouth. It was an honor to be trained by him. Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada – this guy is changing the world and every leader should take a note out of his book. I LOVE this guy!
And finally, Sam Pang. I love Sam Pang. Who doesn’t love Sam Pang?