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  1. #1
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    Ditching the worksuits for a piece of Bali bliss

    Ditching the worksuits for a piece of Bali bliss

    By Larissa Ham
    MySmallBusiness


    Many of us have returned from an idyllic holiday location and dreamt of shifting our lives there permanently. It seems like an easy concept in fantasy land, but how hard is it in reality?

    Last October Zoë Watson went on a solo holiday to Bali, burnt out and suffering from chronic back pain, migraines and fatigue caused by a car accident a few years earlier.


    She was enjoying her job as a national advertising sales representative in Adelaide, but stepping off the treadmill for a week made her realise something had to change.


    “On the weekends I wasn't really going out and doing too many things because everything was a struggle,” the 37-year-old says.


    “I really loved my job so it was a really hard decision but I made the decision I had to get better first and foremost.


    “Once I decided I was going to live in Bali for a year and get better, it was like this massive black cloud lifted off my shoulders.”


    Her business idea came quickly - she would rent a villa and open a small, welcoming sanctuary for women like her, who needed to put themselves first and wanted to go for a break on their own or with a friend. Guests could choose their own rejuvenating holiday experience, with transport and other details to be organised by Watson.


    Setting the idea in motion

    The entrepreneur had been to Bali a handful of times on holiday, so she knew something of the place, and began her research by asking “a lot of questions”.
    She thought over the idea for a time, and gave her employers plenty of notice before diving headlong into building the business from Australia.


    Watson returned to Bali in April with one suitcase after ditching her work suits for a handful of colourful kaftans more in keeping with her new lifestyle. Within three days she had found a villa to rent in Canggu, just outside Seminyak in Bali's south.



    On May 1 Bliss Sanctuary for Women opened for business.


    Compensation for her injuries helped Watson fund the new venture.


    "I actually had a payout with the accident which wasn't huge but it enabled me to make a few different decisions," she says.


    Watson had no fears about whether the plan would work. “If it didn't work, I've lived in another country and had an amazing experience.”


    It's not the first time Watson has run her own show - she started her own 'door hostess' training business in her early 20s, and later ran a marketing consultancy for two-and-a-half years.


    Early challenges
    Watson says her latest venture has been surprisingly straightforward, but has come with some unexpected challenges.


    “The business side has run seamlessly, whereas dealing with another culture and staff, personally that's been a lot more difficult to me. I have to micromanage, which isn't my style.”


    One of the challenges has been encouraging budget-conscious staff to cook more. “This is all about abundance and nurturing and they're very conscious about saving money,” says Watson.


    She has also discovered her five Balinese staff have a different value system from many Australians – with religion and family coming well before money and career success.


    Being on site 24 hours a day to socialise and help guests can also be taxing.


    Big plans


    Watson is in the process of setting up Bliss Sanctuary for Women as a franchise. She has employed someone to take over the host's role in Canggu, so she can focus on setting up another two sites in Bali by the end of next year.


    Within about 10 years, she would like to have 20 sites around the world, in tourist hotspots including Spain, the Greek Islands and Portugal.


    “The idea is it's actually about being in the travel playground of a major country. Bali is like a playground to Australia; Spain is a playground for Europe,” she says.
    Watson plans to combine the Harvey Norman and TAB franchise models and sell each hostess role for an upfront payment, with that person taking a percentage of profits.


    Which all sounds great, except for one little glitch.
    "I've actually always had a real fear of flying so it's probably not the best job for me," laughs Watson.




    Published: 09 December 2011
    Ditching the worksuits for a piece of Bali bliss - Career Advice From MyCareer

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    after ditching her work suits for a handful of colourful kaftans more in keeping with her new lifestyle.
    ouch...

    she must be a "larger" woman

  3. #3
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    national advertising sales representative
    these sorts of job will be outsourced to India soon enough

    maybe she should look at opening a workers hostel in India

  4. #4
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    It's the typical "Eat, Pray, Love" set....

    it will end in tears, it always does.

  5. #5
    I'm in Jail

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    Its the same old story, the dumb fukers throw there lot in to relocate to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Vietnam or some other foking Asian country.

    Why do they do it ?

    Foking escaping there own country because of various reasons.

    What ever, who gives a fok and good luck to them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    Its the same old story, the dumb fukers throw there lot in to relocate to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Vietnam or some other foking Asian country.
    Australia?

  7. #7
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    Australia?
    yes - some of them even think they can be firepersons as a second language

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