Monday, April 27, 2015




                    Please tell us a little bit about your background;
I originally went into business coaching because I received and still do receive great joy and honour to help people achieve a goal they might not have thought possible. Throughout my years as a business coach I have seen the potential growth in my clients and their businesses, which they can usually never see themselves. I receive enormous pleasure in helping my clients achieve happiness in their lives, whatever that means to them. 

                    Have you always wanted to run your own business or did you aspire to be/do something else when you were younger?
Running my own business was not something I wanted to do when I was younger.
                          Please tell us a little bit about your business;
Coaching may mean giving one client a hug and for another, it may mean pushing them just that little bit further than they thought possible. I provide every single business coaching client with a fair and honest perspective on their situation. Some clients can be so focused on how they feel at that moment in time; they forget to look at the bigger picture. One on One business coaching is best suited to businesses that have been established for at least four years and have a team of five. However we are happy to discuss your individual situation and what sort of return on investment you can expect to get from coaching.

                    How many other positions have you had prior to your business?

          Two other positions. My husband and I ran an office equipment business, where I did all the finance side of things and previous to that I ran an employment agency for the Australia Medical Association. 

                    Please describe your role in your business, what this entails etc;
I  will assist you with the strategic design and implementation of material in the following areas; One on One Business mentoring, Time Management – Assessing your role in the business, implementing delegation strategies and developing a default diary. Systems – Development of a company operations manual that includes flowcharts, checklists, scripts and ‘how to’ instructions. Recruitment, Team Building, Financial Reporting. Sales and Marketing – Strategies on Lead Generation, Conversion Rate, Average Dollar Sale, Numbers of Transactions in a year and Profit Margins will be introduced and modified to your business’ requirements. Owner Motivation – Leadership is what our team is looking for and it’s for this reason that the business owner needs to hone in on their level of enthusiasm and skill. About everything else, I will ensure that you are on track to achieving your goals.

                    Do you work from a home office or a rented office?
Rented office, (9/17 Foley St in Balcatta)

                    Do you have any staff?
Yes, one Marketing Admin Assistant

                      Can you briefly describe your working day?

         Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays are spent coaching. Mondays are left for working in the business and Fridays are left for working on the business and further education.

                    What are your strengths and weaknesses in relation to running your own business?

         My strengths are that I have been a small business owner for twenty five years and that I have been coaching people since I was fifteen, in either a business or sporting role. Weakness is as I am a small practise with myself and one other person I find I have limited resources and can’t help as many people as I would like to. 

                      Who and/or what are your inspirations?

      My inspirations come from people who grow through their challenges. My inspirations are from some of the best leaders like Gandhi, Mother Teresa.

                      Do you travel at all for your business?  Please tell us about that;

        Yes, ActionCOACH holds annual conferences for its team, usually on the Gold Coast.

                   Where do you hope your business will be in ten years’ time?
I hope I will be retired and financially free so that I coach people purely on a philanthropic basis. So that money is not involved. 

                    What are your short and long term goals?

          My short term goals are to make a huge impact on each one of my clients' business and life and give them a good return on investment of their time and money that they spend with me. Long term goals are to open a health, wealth and happiness centre for coaching, helping people with their business health, as well as their physical and mental health. I place significant values on the fact that, if you don’t have your health, you can’t run a business.

Suzzanne competing in the ITU World Triathlon Series - London 2014

                   How long have you actually had your own business?

          ActionCOACH five years, previous business fifteen years. 

                   What are you passionate about?

           Helping people reach their potential.

                        What are your values?

           Love, Health, Family, Honesty and Trust. 

                  What do you enjoy doing in your ‘spare’ time?

         Swimming, cycling, running, competing in triathlons, playing the piano and spending time with my family.

                  Have you managed to build up a solid clientele base?

           I have many clients that have worked with me for a number of years. 

                   Do you belong to any professional groups?

        I am a member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation.) I am an ambassador for Opportunity International and also an ambassador for BNI.

       Did you have to overcome any/many challenges/hurdles along your professional road?

     I overcame a life threatening disease at thirty three which involved six major general anaesthetics and living with a colostomy bag. I have also been happily married to David Laidlaw since 1985 with two beautiful children. Not long after we got married, I saved David’s life by pulling him from a burning house and supporting him through years of pain, skin graft operations and rehabilitation.

                Do you have any advice for other aspiring business-women?  Any words of wisdom to share?

       I would recommend as much time as you can in learning about business and learning what you want to achieve. Getting a good plan together is vital and some good mentors to help you through these goals.

               Is there anything further that YOU would like to add, to share with the world?

          Life throws us many challenges, the sooner we face them head on and learn how to overcome them, the quicker we grow and develop as a person to be able to handle further challenges that come our way. 


Thursday, April 2, 2015


Please tell us a little bit about your background:
I was a legal Secretary for twenty years and have since been a typist for a team of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a Neurosurgeon and a Pain Specialist for the past fourteen years. When I travel with our reptile exhibition I am still able to do my typing via the internet at night.

           You work in the entertainment industry.  Have you always wanted to be an entertainer/exhibitor or did you aspire to be something else when you were growing up?
I have always wanted to be on stage and do something BIG, though nothing in my past led me down that path.

How did you come to work as an exhibitor and handler of reptiles?
My husband, Derek, has always had reptiles as pets, though I had basically ignored them, thinking snakes were not very nice. I used to cover his snakes up whenever people visited our home.  We met a couple through a motivational and investment group who were already doing reptiles shows and had vast knowledge of crocodiles.  My husband starting doing shows for them (he is used to being in the public eye as he was a professional ballroom dancer and also does acting and extras work). That couple was in the process of buying a small country zoo and Derek went in to manage the zoo for two years.  The couple then decided to move back to England and so Derek decided he would start his own reptile exhibition business.  I wasn’t much interested as I already had a good, full time job so I agreed that he would be the “face” of Croc Stars and I would do the bookwork for him after hours.  A couple of years into it he got so busy he asked me to join him doing shows.  He gave me my own reptiles including a baby Blue tongue lizard for Valentine’s day which we called “Valentine” and he gave me a baby crocodile for my birthday. Next thing you know I am up on stage in front of five hundred people doing a reptile show (even though I had never even spoken in public before) AND LOVED IT.  I love being in the public eye, being on stage teaching people about the importance of a balanced environment and I love my reptiles. 

                How long have you been doing this?
We  have been operating Croc Stars for fourteen years now

                What other positions have you held prior to this?
Legal Secretary - twenty years and typist - fourteen years.

Have you exhibited with these reptiles on TV?  If so, please tell us a little bit about that;
I was filmed on a show called “What’s up Downunder" while doing a reptile show at a holiday park at Port Stephens.  I was holding Valentine at the time and the host of the show pretended to have his finger bitten off. It was only a small piece on TV as the show was about the attractions at the Park.

               Have you done any/many media interviews?
I did an interview with my husband for an editorial in our local Central Coast newspaper and also an interview for an editorial in a newspaper in Queensland and one in Victoria.

                What do you enjoy doing in your ‘spare’ time?
I don’t have much spare time while working full time and running and working in Croc Stars as I also do typing in my own time as well,  but my passion is walking. I would love to travel extensively as a tourist but this will have to wait.

               What are your short and long term goals with your career?
          I wish to continue with my typing as I love it very much and, thanks to the Internet, I can do it at any time day, or night. Being able to have our own home is an important goal so we can build ponds and enclosures for our animals as we see fit. I hope to continue travelling with our reptile show for many years yet. 
Our dream is to travel to outback communities to entertain and educate people, perhaps a Government grant to cover our expenses as these communities miss out on so much and we feel we have a lot to offer them. I need help in this area as I don’t talk “Government-speak” and any attempt I have made at applying for a grant has not been successful. My long term goal is to retire on a small property 
somewhere and to travel on holidays but with the economy the way it is, that goal seems to get further and further away.

               Do you ever plan to do anything else as employment?
No plans at the present time, although if I were rich, I think “professional shopper” would be fun. 

             You travel a lot with your exhibitions.  Please tell us where you have been.  Nationwide and internationally?
We cannot take our reptiles out of Australia as, due to Quarantine laws, we would never be able to get them back in so no international travel.  We travel up to Hervey Bay in Queensland each year for a month (this enables me to visit my mum) and then we travel to East Gippsland in Victoria once a year for a week or so (so Derek can visit his mum) and then we do a month to five week tour throughout Victoria including country Victoria, ie Bendigo and Mildura  every year in September/October. Always happy to travel and hope to take in many more areas of Australia.

Who and/or what are your inspirations?
Definitely my husband.  He has been a huge influence on my attitude towards reptiles and the environment and trying to save same.  We like to stay positive and encourage each other.

                Is there anything further you would like to add to this interview?
Yes.  Even though I am fifty three years of age, I feel like I am thirty and that I hope to live to at least one hundred and thirty so I can fit in the things I want to do in my life time.