Director's Circle: Fallon Drewett, The Just Saying Project

There are just some people you come across who you instantly know is a beautiful soul, a connection that was always meant to happen. Fallon Drewett from The Just Saying Project is exactly that for me and I couldn't be prouder of the "just saying" movement that she is leading. If you haven't checked them out yet, it's worth a look.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I used to have an old microphone that was my mum’s when I was about 4-years-old and I would walk around asking my family questions. By the time I was in primary school, I loved writing short stories and had a flair for creative writing, which has remained a big part of my life. So when I became a journalist, it was a career I believe I was born to do. Now as the founder of JSP, the way I tell stories is a little bit different, but the ethos is the same. The power of words has the ability to make us feel better about who we are, both written and spoken. We all have stories and we need to embrace which chapter we are living and accept the chapters that have been written.

What was the biggest surprise for you about starting a new business?

I am pretty sure I am surprised at least once a week (laughs). I am a creative, so starting a new business has been the biggest learning curve, especially when it comes to budgets and spread sheets (give me a brainstorming session any day). I have had to give myself so many ‘You got this’ speeches in the mirror, because for the most part, I can’t believe I am running a small business. The life of a sole entrepreneur is filled with doubt and moments of ups and downs. There have been weeks where I have been so inspired by the work I am doing then the next week I am asking myself ‘what have I done’ or ‘why am I doing this’. So the biggest surprise for me is the emotional investment of a business and learning to combat those feelings, by reminding myself that I am in the thick of it and I am doing the best I can. When it comes to a small business there are going to be elements of it that you will breeze through and others that you have to educate yourself on. There is never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

What’s your favourite part about being a business owner?

The freedom to create and work the way you want to. As a mother of two little ones, I have the ability to work from home and work my business around them when I need to. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when my kids play under my feet while I send emails at my desk. Being a business owner gives you the opportunity to create the type of balance you need at the present time to achieve your goals. I recently said, ‘why didn’t I think of JSP before I had kids?’ But really my idea never would have popped into my brain if I hadn’t become a mum. I like to call that Big Magic. And my other favourite thing about being a business owner is having the ability and ideas to create change, make the world a bit happier one event at a time. I love that. Bringing smiles to people’s faces - there is nothing better than that. 

How do you generate new ideas for the business?

In the past year, many of my ideas have appeared to me at 2am in the morning, when I can’t sleep (laughs). But the reality is a lot of the time I sit down with a pen and paper and think about events or projects that I believe women would enjoy. I like to think outside the box and I am constantly reading and observing what is happening in the community both locally and nationally. I believe taking time out and observing is such a brilliant tool, that many of us don’t take the time to do. Many times we are too caught up in trying to have our ideas heard, which is important, but every now and then I go off the grid for a few days and observe and ponder on life and, sure enough, a little spark enters my heart and boom, my brain is along for the ride too.

What is the best advice you have received recently, and still follow?

“You are exactly where you need to be for now.” As a creative businesswoman, I have so many ideas that I want to see as living and tangible that, at times, I can become quite frustrated when ideas and projects are not moving as fast as I would like them to. So, when I found this quote in a magazine, it hit me right in the face. It reminded me that I have achieved so much at this present moment and that I will keep building my brand and my ideas will become my next venture or event. Sometimes great things take time and there is nothing wrong with that.  Also one of my worst traits is comparing myself to others, which creates unwanted pressures. We all have our moments of hitting goals and other times we are plodding along working our butts off. It all works out in the end (well that is what I am telling myself).

What are your non-work habits that help with your life-work balance?

Working from home is a hard gig, but what I do is each morning after the kids are fed and dressed for the day, I spend a couple of hours (in between nappy changes and making snacks) dedicated to JSP.  After that, the rest of the day is for being a mum and all the duties that it entails.  Then once the kids are asleep, I am back in the office. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday are for my family so I try not to work or answer emails. Oh and I love having a pedicure and going to a coffee shop and reading, that usually gets my balance back to bouncing order. 

Give a shout out to three local businesses.

These are a Few Of My Favourite Things is the creation of Charley and her products are so divine and are consciously created of purposeful and predominantly handcrafted bath and body goodies with a focus on natural ingredients and mental wellbeing. Charley is such a generous and gorgeous female business owner and her Calm Balm has helped me during a few anxious moments.

BB Print and Central Signs and Graphics, these two businesses have been huge supporters of JSP and our projects, in particular our 50 Fabulous Faces. These businesses are efficient, creative and supportive of other businesses getting out there and having a go.

KADENCE Group Bespoke suite of business support, grant writing, strategic support & training for independent Australian musicians & artists and industry, including: multidisciplinary art projects, individual artists, live acts, collectives, festivals and arts organisations. Kristy And Bevan Gostelow are doing wonderful things in the Mackay community including MUSOAcademy for young musicians who want to develop their skills and knowledge and the recent Backyard Sessions.