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Louise M Empowerment Series with Louise Matson and Synxbody's Rachael Ferguson

Posted on November 12 2021

Louise M Empowerment series with Louise Matson and podiatrist Racheal Ferguson

 I had a really strong empowerment family, particularly my dad” - Rachael Ferguson

Shared conversations can help you feel more empowered, and even better if those around you communicate effectively and share empowering conversations in early life. We must devote time and resources to developing initiatives that will empower so that the next generation (of women) will be better prepared to take on challenges, be resilient, feel strong, and have that can do attitude.

In this episode of Louise M Empowerment, we are joined by Rachael Ferguson. She is an international award-winning entrepreneur, podiatrist, author, and CEO of the Australian footcare company SynxBody. After landing a deal with Andrew Banks on the TV show Shark Tank in 2015, Rachael has rapidly grown the company, creating a wide range of foot care products available nationally in Chemist Warehouse and selected pharmacies in Australia and New Zealand, and international presence in the USA. 

Rachael regularly speaks at seminars and in the media about common podiatry conditions, general health, and entrepreneurship topics. She has also published a wide range of blogs and videos on common podiatry issues and is also an ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) which is a not-for-profit organization to empower, support, and celebrate women in business. Passionate about health, wellness, and business, Rachael is on a mission to inspire, educate others and share her business knowledge through the Million Dollar Business Mentors.

Tune in and discover the power of communication in creating empowerment!

 

Louise Matson:

Hello on the Louise M Empowerment series today. I have Rachael Ferguson. Rachel is an international award winning entrepreneur, podiatrist, author, and CEO of Australian foot care company Synxbody. After landing a deal with Andrew Banks on the TV show Shark Tank in 2015, Rachael has rapidly grown the company, creating wide range of foot care products available nationally in Chemist Warehouse and selected pharmacies in Australia and New Zealand and international presence in the USA. Rachael regularly speaks at seminars and in the media about common pediatric conditions, general health and entrepreneurship topics. She has also published a wide range of blogs and videos on common podiatry issues and also an ambassador for women's entrepreneurship day, which is a non-for-profit organization to empower support and celebrate women in business. Passionate about health, wellness, and business, Rachael is on a mission to inspire, educate others, and share her business knowledge through the Million Dollar Business Mentors. Welcome Rachael.

Rachael Ferguson:

Thank you Louise, for having me. It's so nice to be here.

Louise Matson:

It's an absolute honor to have you, Rachel, I first met you back in, 2013 or 14 when I first started Louise M shoes and you were a podiatrist starting out. Think you may have been just about to go on Shark Tank or getting ready

Rachael Ferguson:

Thereabouts it's either I just gone on or it had an aired yet, something like that.

Louise Matson:

So yes, I've loved watching your journey and my series is all about It is a business journey, but we're going beyond that. And I want to find out where women in particular, because our women's shoe business, started their empowerment. Was it as a child or has it developed as an adult, and through your business. So firstly, what's your definition of empowerment?

Rachael Ferguson:

Such a good question. So for me, when I think of the word empowered, I think about feeling strong and able to make decisions and being confident in those decisions. That's what I think empowerment's about. And so when I think back to my childhood, you know, I had a really strong empowerment family. They were very big on empowering us and making us, you know, make us be confident enough to own our decisions and make them, which I think is really important.

Louise Matson:

That's a great start. So how did they do that? How did they give you choices? Can you do this or this? You can have this, this way or this or this. I mean, as a child, you don't know that it's called empowerment.

Rachael Ferguson:

Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of it comes down to conversations, particularly with my dad because he's the entrepreneur in our family and he loved talking to me about lots of these things. And from a very young age, I remember him saying to me, you always want to have your own business. Like you always want to have your own business. And it's amazing how those conversations like stick with you. Right. So as you're growing older, you think about, oh yeah, I do want to do things for myself. And he used to give me that belief that you can do anything that you wanted. So I definitely think conversation is a big thing with children and it's something that I try and have with my own kids every day.

Louise Matson:

Yes. Oh, I might get onto that a little bit later as you have two girls. I do too. have any other influences? Your dad was your main one obviously, but did school empower you as well or grandparents?

Rachael Ferguson:

Definitely grandparents. My, my grandfather, um, who's my dad's father, Pa he was very big. He was an entrepreneur himself and he used to empower me by conversations as well and having his own business and dreaming big and having things that you want and working hard for them. And I definitely think there's other people in my life like my parents friends as well that influence me in positive ways.

Louise Matson:

It's interesting because they say, it is the five people you most hang around,, other is how you bait as well. Sorry. And such a gift that you had that influence from such an early age, because I do believe that it is a little bit more difficult to, to get to where you want to get to, if you're having to find it later in life, but this is the great conversation. Now you went to university as well. You are Curtin alumni as well. That's we do have that in common as well. So did that contribute more to your confidence?

Rachael Ferguson:

Do you know? It's interesting because I went to and I really think it's important to talk about this because a lot of people think when you're successful, you know, you've had this amazing upbringing, which I did have a very positive family environment, but I also went to a very rough high school. I went to Rockingham High School, which was regarded in the day as quite a rough, it was a public school. There was a lot of chaos around me and when I think back to those early years, I had a lot of good friends and I made a lot of good friends, but I was also very social. So I probably didn't work as hard as what I should have at that age so to get into university was really hard for me because I didn't quite get the grades that I wanted to do what I wanted.

Rachael Ferguson:

And I always think it's really important to talk about that because it builds resilience. You know, if you have a dream and you want to do it, you don't have to have the best grades and you don't have to be the smartest person in the room. You know, when I think back to some of the people I went to high school with, some of them were a lot brighter than me, they might not have gone as far as me in their education and their success, but it just shows you that you don't need to be that smartest person in the room. You have to have the resilience and the determination to want to get there.

Louise Matson:

I think, thanks for sharing that, that it's really important because at the end of the day, if you really want something, but it's having that belief in you and at the end of the day too, it's you, that gives yourself that belief. You know, it's great to have all these influences around you that are saying fo Rachael you are amazing, but at the end of the day, it's up to you to go out there and get it. So yeah, thank you for that. And of course we know that many people have very difficult childhoods and yet they go on to do these amazing things incredible yet. So do you believe your childhood helped you establish your business goals and into business?

Rachael Ferguson:

Yeah, without a doubt, without a doubt. So it was often the conversations, but it was also the support of my parents. So, you know, they also worked really hard. They, as, as I grew older, you know, their business became more successful and then they had more opportunities that they could give me. But from, as a younger child, you know, they were running their business and they were growing that business. And anyone who starts scaling knows that it's not just an overnight success. So they couldn't financially give us everything when we were younger, but they emotionally and, and gave us those skills and those, you know, that beautiful stable home environment that really gives you that confidence to thrive.

Louise Matson:

Yeah. How many siblings do you have?

Rachael Ferguson:

I have two sisters. I am smack bang in the middle of both of them.

Louise Matson:

Did they do believe they have the same upbringing? Do they have the same aspirations, inspirations and whatever as you?

Rachael Ferguson:

Um, the interesting thing me and my sisters are all different. So, and it's quite, you notice this often. I have, obviously with my two children, they're so different too. So we each are so different in our journeys and what we want to do, but we're all very smart and we all are very family focused and we all have the same morals and ethics and I really, really attribute that to my parents really.

Louise Matson:

Yeah. And I know you're very loyal to friends as well. Friends, beautiufl Rebecca, very loyal, and I think that's a sign of your upbringing as well and who and who you are. Um, so what has helped you become even more empowered adult? You know, I actually, I do know one of your books, I actually just downloaded it to read myself, Atomic Habits, that seemed to be a tool in your business journey.

Rachael Ferguson:

Yes, absolutely. So, you know, when I think back to my business journey and you know, which is I'm 10 years in now, you know, for the first, probably six years, it was quite a hard struggle. Like anyone in business, you know, there's so much happening, you often wear so many hats, you're going to bed late, you're waking up early, you're also being a mother or, you know, being everything to everyone. And I found, I got myself into a bit of a rut, and that happens with business. It's, I'm very, I like talking about it because I think if it can help anyone that was in the same situation I was in back in 2017, then I've done my job. Back in those times, I felt overwhelmed. I felt extremely overwhelmed. You know, all the things that mattered to me, like exercising and eating well and spending time with friends and doing, you know, spending time with family. I had no time for any of those things. So what I had to do was just be very strict with my time and really carve out some, some good habits. And the book Atomic Habits is so good for that, because it just talks about that little step each day to reach your goals rather than trying to go too crazy.

Louise Matson:

Yes, I think that's really important, isn't it? Because we try and get here before we get here. We don't even realize that actually just taking one little step per day. I do say that about business. Just take a step because if you stand still you stop going anywhere, but I must admit, I do need to apply that tomy personal life, um, to, and, and concentrating on health and seeing your friends. What else I'm going to atomic habits and wellness. So have you got a regular thing you do every day?

Rachael Ferguson:

I do. And so when, when I was in that time of stress, I read a book called the Miracle Morning. Have you heard of that one by Hal Enrod?

Rachael Ferguson:

It is such a good book and it's one that I still go back to all the time and I mean his community groups and I get his emails and I just love listening to Hal, because he talks so much, so much sense. And it's not anything that no one said before, but it's just resonated with me in a way that made me actually do something about it. So he talks about having a very strict morning routine. You know, we wake up often and I was very guilty of this and I still can be guilty of this. You know, you check your phone, before you know it you've responded to emails. You've already put yourself into it, either a stressful place or, you know, a reacting place before you've even started your morning. So you've really got to protect that energy around you.

Rachael Ferguson:

So what I do now is I wake up and the first thing I do is come into my office. I have a glass of water. I like to meditate. Even if it's just for five or six minutes, I'm not amazing at it, but I just try every single day because, especially for busy minds and busy people, you need that time to just stop with your thoughts. So I do that. I write down three things I'm grateful for, which allows me to reflect, whether it's my family, my dog, the food that we eat just reflect on three simple things every day. And then I like to read, so I have a pile of books behind me. Atomic Habits is one I quite often will pull out. And because I don't have time to read that much. I'll just grab, maybe read two pages.

Rachael Ferguson:

It's not much, it's just a couple of pages. And then I like to exercise. So at the moment I'm really quite into Pilates. So I'll go into a Pilates class or I'll go for a walk or just do 10 pushups on the floor, whatever I can fit into that morning, you just have to be flexible. Then I come out and have breakfast and, you know, drink my lemon water and do the other parts of my day. And then I find once I get the kids off to school and I'm ready, I'm much more in a better place to handle everything that comes at me. I make better decisions.

Louise Matson:

Having that time to yourself to do those things, you're not all day thinking, oh, I should meditate. I should exercise. I should, should, should, should. And, and it stops you from actually getting on with what you need to be doing in business as well. So have there been particular network groups or, you know, is that your thing?

Rachael Ferguson:

Yes it is. So I've found, the AusMumpreneur community has been very good for me. I like, are you part of that community?

Louise Matson:

But I do know you are lots of awards, congratulations. Tell us about that group,

Rachael Ferguson:

Just a beautiful group of, um, obviously Katie and Peace who run that group are just beautiful, like absolutely gorgeous ladies who really drive and empower women. Like we're talking about empowering. Like they absolutely empower women and to have a group of people, and like we were talking about before, you know, the five people you spend the most time with is the result of who you are. So in a group like that, there's just so many incredible people that you meet. So I've just found that to be really valuable for me. I did try BNI groups back in the day, but it just, wasn't my thing, because we're a much more global business, local community wasn't really my thing. But on saying that there's also so many other amazing groups too, or there's SociallyEm she has an amazing community group. Um, she works, she does some work for me and you know, there's just, there's never, there's never a better time than to become part of these communities because you feel a much less alone. And then you go out to these events and you meet a lot more like-minded people who inspire you.

Louise Matson:

Yes. It's one thing to have coffee with your school mums, which is fantastic too. It actually gets your mind off your business by doing that, but it's great going to a networking group where you know that understand how you're thinking or feeling without actually having to say it.

Rachael Ferguson:

Yeah. Even all the suggestions to help, you know, how amazing is it. You can go to these events and I've met a few women who have just launched new businesses. So then you'd go on and comment on their posts or you like their stories or you share something, you know, a lot of this is all free, but it's just about supporting and inspiring. women.

Louise Matson:

Yeah. So, uh, and you yourself are inspiring women just from what you're doing. Uh, you're a co-author of a book as well with your story in it. And what other ways are you helping women feel empowered through your business journey?

Rachael Ferguson:

So I took a role of the WA ambassador for WEDO which is women's entrepreneurship day. Um, and I know last year I had a physical event, which you came to you as well, the raise, which I loved, and I really want to share the same this year, but what we've actually done is we've combined it with all the states in Australia. So all the WEDO representatives. And we're holding an online event for women's entrepreneurship day. So that's going to be on the 19th of November. Um, it's a free, or just a small donation event, and some incredible speakers and pitch night. And we're just trying to really inspire women to believe in themselves and feel empowered and take risks in business.

Louise Matson:

Wow and that's the thing too, you know, how, how do you get all this into your day?

Rachael Ferguson:

It's complex? I'm not going to lie. My diary's looking a little bit chockers at the moment. Um, so I sort of made a decision probably last week that now until the rest of the year, I need to cut back a lot of my things that I do, because there's just so many important things on. And I think it's, it's very much like that you'll go through stages where you're super busy and you need to carve out. So time blocking. Do you do time blocking Louise?

Louise Matson:

I should.

Rachael Ferguson:

But it's really good. And, and so I like to have a bit of time blocks for different creativity. So whether it's today I'm going to be recording or doing studio things that are book everything in that section. If I'm going to be writing, doing sales, and I might allocate a certain time. And I think just by time blocking, it gives you a better idea of how to manage your day. Otherwise it can get very out of hand before, you know, it you've raced from here and there and not actually a completely.

Louise Matson:

Yeah. And I gravitate to, because you could be dressed for that and do that, or some other activities you might not have to be so dressed.

Rachael Ferguson:

Yeah. You could be in your active wear, which is what, 80% of the time.

Louise Matson:

Well, it was very appropriate for you to be active wear as well. How can people contact you Rachel, and be inspired more and empowered by you?

Rachael Ferguson:

So they can follow me on Instagram. It's just Rachel.Ferguson. Um, and I also have my website, Rachel ferguson.com.au. You, so part of what I'm doing at the moment is starting two podcasts. I'm doing a new podcast for my podiatry business, which is Synxbody, and that's all about health and wellness. So we're going to be educating people with different health specialists about different ways they can learn more about their health and inspire them obviously to live healthier lives. And the second podcast, which you mentioned in the beginning is the Million Dollar Business Mentors. That's all about mentoring women who have successful businesses that want to really scale them into seven figures and beyond, and that's coming next year. So yeah, just stay in touch with me. I'm present on my Instagram page and I'm really passionate about teaching people different ways to succeed in business, because I think the more we lean on other people for advice and guidance, the more successful we'll be,

Louise Matson:

Yes, I've had this conversation before though that, you know, when you're starting out, you don't feel necessarily that you can connect with those people because you feel as thought they know so much and you don't know enough and they have done so well. So it does take a a lot of courage to actually to reach out. And as you know, you get busier and busier. So the people who are just starting out yeah. That it might not actually connect with you or have that confidence. So they need to get empowered and take that step. Actually, one of the other women I interviewed, Lea Boyce, she said has 20 seconds of insane courage and just pick up that phone or write that email. And I love that.

Rachael Ferguson:

You know, part of my success in business came from that 20 second insanity of making one phone call to the right person. So I absolutely live by that.

Louise Matson:

Yes. And, um, shot tech. I know your preparation was insane. You watched every episode of Shark Tank. So you knew every question that they were going to ask you and you had the answers. Yes. That's, that's inspirational in itself and a really worthwhile lesson to everybody to really prepare because it can be life changing.

Rachael Ferguson:

It can be, and you really to impress those people, it's all about resonating with them on that first visit because I, and when I say visit for us, it was obviously pitching in front of investors on a TV show, which was a little bit different, but there's so many other pitch networks. And the one thing I can encourage everyone to do is practice, practice, practice, practice in front of your kids in front of your husband, in front of your friends, anyone who will listen get them to throw questions at you, because that is the only way you learn. And it's how I've learned to get better on my feet, because I wasn't this confident, you know, five years ago. Absolutely not.

Louise Matson:

Well, I'm fortunate to have a Naomi Simson, one of the other Sharks as a client.

Rachael Ferguson:

She loves your shoes. Doesn't she? And I'm not surprised because I also love your shoes. As a podiatrist, oh my goodness. They are beautiful.

Louise Matson:

Uh, thanks Rachael. Well, yes, but I think, knowing that many years ago when we met you bought some shoes.

Rachael Ferguson:

I have still got a pair of your flats. Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you. So, so quality made nice and, and comfortable.

Louise Matson:

Yes. I had a few podiatrists look at the [inaudible]. So, um, I've got the heads-up from podiatrist, which is really lovely, but it's not about me. It's about you and women's empowerment and, you know, shoes are part of empowerment too. I want women to go out and achieve their goals and dreams in their day without worrying about their feet. So we have got that in common too. We want women to get rid of, anybody to get rid of sore feet.. So that they can feel empowered and get on with their day. So thank you so much, Rachel. It's been well, enjoy hearing your story and sharing this with others. Thank you so much.

Rachael Ferguson:

Thank you so much for having me Louise

Contact Rachael Ferguson: https://www.rachaelferguson.com.auShop at Synxbody: https://synxbody.com.au

Shop at Louise M shoes: https://www.louisemshoes.com
Contact Louise Matson: https://www.louisemshoes.com/pages/contact-louise

#Sharktank #entrepreneur #smallbusiness #investor #businessgrowth #podcast #mindset #empowerment #womenempoweringwomen

 

 

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