Success is not a one lane highway. But you will have to ride it all night (and all day) long.

For a long time, I never understood what made me successful.

I'd experience a little of the good stuff, only to take two steps back. Then I'd experience some more, before another set back came along. It all seemed so......inconsistent. What's worse, I was convinced there was a formula. If only I could find the 'blueprint', I'd be able to print miles of the green stuff, and live the lap top life everyone dreams of.

I spent a crap load of money trying to understand the 'secret'. Until late last week.....I discovered the truth, for nothing. 

Here's what happened.

In the midst of a huge deadline, the hard drive on my 8 month old lap top failed. The guys at Leading Edge in Kilmore were great, but unfortunately nothing could be done. It was as gone as a Tasmanian Tiger. I nearly had a stroke before realising that everything was saved to the cloud. But I lost a week of time, something crucial.

To cut the story short, everything that could have gone wrong that week, did. Has that ever happened to you? 

Top cap things off, last Friday, I was driving on a rural highway in pouring rain. Suddenly, I realised that my petrol tank was flashing on empty. Fully prepared to stop on the side of the road (in the middle of no where), a petrol station appeared. I honestly don't know HOW the car managed to get there.

But it did.

In the moments leading up to finding that petrol station, I made a promise to myself. To stop being a secret seeker, and to start being a truth finder. My truth. And the funny thing? All I had to do was show up, be me, and listen. Kind of like community engagement ;)

This is the secret that millions of 'experts' sell on a daily basis is bull S. The REAL secret is that there is no freaking secret, and that you get to make it up. For as many people on the planet, you get to show up as yourself and forge your own darn path. 

You've got the key. The magic lies in listening and just being there with yourself. Being you. No one says it's easy. At times, it can be down right scary. But it's the only way.

Until next Wednesday,

My best,


Vanessa Wiltshire
Director, Spark Rural
Writer & Community Engagement Specialist


Connect, Learn, Grow

Look out for in-person sessions in September and October. My business partner Vanessa North and I are off to Gippsland to deliver a series of "Connect, Learn & Grow" workshops and talks. Vanessa specialises in organisational development in the health care industry and teaches mid to senior level leaders to use social media. Me.....I will be talking about the power of harnessing your story to transform relationships and community engagement. Also, what it takes for small towns to go ahead. And no, I won't be talking about innovation or entrepreneurship.

Spotlight on Kilmore

The inaugural community magazine is being launched on Saturday 6 October at the Kilmore Business Studio (9:30am - 11:30am). You'll have a chance to meet the brains behind the project, Steph Ryan MP, as well the many contributors (55 businesses and community groups = 110+ people). Will be an awesome event. Oh, and there will be cup cakes!

Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Dinner (Wine X Sam)

Excited to be delivering my first keynote in a VERY long time at the Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Dinner at Wine x Sam in Seymour on Friday 14 September (7:00pm). I'll be speaking about my adventures these past 8 months through regional Victoria and what I've observed from the very small to the very large: what it takes for regional towns to revitalise and go ahead (Courage, Faith and Community).

For info e: