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Cara Szellemes

I can’t believe I’ve been in the communications and marketing space for 28 years! Yesterday I was flipping through my early portfolio of work samples and realised just how much has changed in 30 years. When I started in comms we used to cut and paste actual images and text onto broadsheets for printing.

I’ve had many wonderful opportunities and experiences, from publishing magazines to organising controversial media events and leaking a story that made front-page news globally. …


Why thought leadership starts with a conversation
Why thought leadership starts with a conversation
Thought leadership starts with a conversation

There’s no question that being able to tell stories about your brand is important if you want to engage audiences.

However, over the nine years I’ve been a specialist content marketer, my thinking has shifted around how that is best accomplished. My current view is that we’ve been doing content marketing backwards: creating authority by sharing what we know in the hopes that will inspire customers to trust us.

What I’ve discovered is creating trust and rapport is less about sharing your views, expertise and talents and more about listening.

What I’ve discovered is creating trust and rapport is less…


There is an “I” in Team

We’ve all heard the saying “there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” But is supporting employees in their individual pursuits really anti-team?

Evidence suggests otherwise. In the 1990s the Harvard Business School did research that demonstrated the benefits of giving employees paid time to follow their own individual pursuits. Since then, some notable companies have introduced unstructured time into their workplaces: Atlassian, Google and Intuit to name a few.

However, the concept of unstructured time is still a radical idea for most corporations. …


Mundane tasks like hanging out laundry help your brain release Oxytocin, the feel-good hormone.
Mundane tasks like hanging out laundry help your brain release Oxytocin, the feel-good hormone.
Mundane tasks like hanging out laundry help your brain release Oxytocin, the feel-good hormone.

If every day is starting to feel a bit like groundhog day or you have this experience of being locked in a high tower like Rapunzel, you are not alone.

If you’re a creative free spirit who lives out of a suitcase for inspiration, this experience may make you feel restless and stifled.

I hear you. I write and create for a living and outside of that, I have other creative projects like the book I’m writing, my podcast, and side gig products I’m creating. Don’t get me wrong, there are days after work I just want to stare vacantly…


What’s stopping you from hitting “publish?”
What’s stopping you from hitting “publish?”
What’s stopping you from hitting “publish?”

What’s holding you back from hitting “publish?”

There must be something because out of the many many workshops I’ve run on blogging, only a handful have ever come back to me with their published content.

This baffles me because I do this too and I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out why.

I had to write an article for a major online business publication and procrastinated like crazy. The thought of sending it to them made me feel sick.

If you feel so strongly about writing something down, something you have every intention of sharing, you owe…


The power of connection for human beings
The power of connection for human beings

I was sitting in a hotel restaurant, working on my laptop to fill in time before heading to the airport (obviously not in 2020 :-)). The woman behind me was talking loudly, telling her daughter that she should eat up because they weren’t getting anything else that day until dinner.

The things that help us connect are not how much we’ve achieved, how graceful we are, how eloquent or how professional…

I was fascinated and annoyed at the same time. I thought to myself: ‘I bet you anything she buys her fairy floss or something later today.’ Why even waste…


how I sold my house with content marketing
how I sold my house with content marketing

Is content marketing a good solution for property sales?

I had wondered that myself, especially when it came to selling my home, but I decided that, as a content marketer, it would be silly not to try, so I put my reputation as a content marketer on the line and used content marketing to drive buyers to my property sale.

This is the story of how that went.

Why I Sold My House Myself

Divorce. It meant I had to sell my forever home, the place I thought I’d never leave, the house I loved for its quiet tranquillity and beautiful panoramic views over the neighbouring…


It’s been nearly 10 years since I began my first business, Mumatopia.

It’s been 10 years since I first started my own business. I remember walking into the business name registry (back then we had to apply in person) with $120 in hand to secure my business name.

10 years ago, I would spring out of bed, excited about creating and marketing my little business, Mumatopia.

Facebook business pages were thriving marketplaces for small operators back then. It was really easy to sell stuff and everyone was excited about the possibilities.

In the years since I’ve done pretty much everything from selling my own handmade wares in markets and online to entering…


What do you do when your married name is also your personal brand and author name?
What do you do when your married name is also your personal brand and author name?

It’s pretty normal to change your name when you get a divorce. However, what do you do when your name is also your personal brand, your pen name and moniker?

That was the question I faced when I divorced, so I didn’t change my name. It all seemed too hard.

However, a year or so later my ex-husband remarried and his wife took on his name. After that, it just seemed weird to keep it.

So, this year, when I started writing my new book, “Being Game,” I decided it was time to do a total rebrand.

I’ve been called…


People fear public speaking more than they do death.

I stood at the front, feeling the weight of every eye in the room. I could feel the heat rising in my face and my pounding heart in my head. “Make it stop!”

Shaky and trembling I gave my pitch. I kept going even though I badly wanted to run out of the room, jump on a boat and sail away to a deserted island.

This was my experience pitching to an angel investor group 2 years ago.

Have you ever wondered why nervousness like this attacks you just when it’s important to be confident, cool, calm and collected?

If…

Cara Szellemes

Bestselling author, Cofounder @wityayl, Copywriter, What’s Important Now podcast host, founder Your Story Bank.

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